What is a curb extension?
Curb extensions, also known as bulb-outs, neckdowns, or bump-outs, are a recommended safety treatment in the City of Alexandria's Complete Streets Design Guidelines and a common safety feature used around the city, country and world. Curb extensions are created by extending the sidewalk at corners or mid-block, thereby shortening the crossing distance, making pedestrians more visible, and slowing turning vehicles at intersections. They are intended to increase safety, calm traffic, and provide extra space along sidewalks for users and amenities.
What are the benefits of curb extensions?
Curb extensions have a variety of potential benefits, including:
- Additional space for pedestrians to queue before crossing
- Improved safety by reducing motor vehicle speeds and emphasizing pedestrian crossing location
- Less pedestrian exposure to motor vehicles by reducing crossing distances
- Space for ADA compliant curb ramps where sidewalks are too narrow
- Enhanced visibility between pedestrians and other roadway users
- Restricting cars from parking too close to the crosswalk area
- Space for utilities, signs, and amenities such as bus shelters or waiting areas, bicycle parking, public seating, street vendors, newspaper stands, trash and recycling receptacles, and planting and landscape elements
Why implement curb extensions as part of Safe Routes to School?
Curb extensions are particularly valuable in locations with high volumes of pedestrian traffic, near schools, at unsignalized pedestrian crossings, or where there are demonstrated pedestrian safety issues. Curb extensions shorten crossing distances, make people walking more visible to drivers, and slow turning vehicles, thereby improving pedestrian safety.
Where is the City of Alexandria implementing curb extensions?
As part of the City of Alexandria’s Safe Routes to Schools program, Walk Audits were conducted for all Alexandria elementary schools. Curb extensions were recommended at many nearby intersections to improve safety for students and their families when crossing the street. Because of the large number of curb extensions recommended City-wide, T&ES will initially use striping and flexposts and replace them with more permanent concrete ones as funding becomes available.
Curb extensions are currently planned throughout the City near the following schools:
- Cora Kelly School for Math, Science, and Technology
- Jefferson-Houston K-8 School
- Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy
- Matthew Maury Elementary
- Mount Vernon Community School
- Patrick Henry K-8 School
For more information, contact Alex Carroll at (703) 746-4408 or Alexandria.firstname.lastname@example.org.