Accessible Shared Streets

Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities

This document reviews notable practices and considerations for accommodating pedestrians with vision disabilities on shared streets. It focuses on streets where pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles are intended to mix in the same space.

by Federal Highway Administration


Accessible Shared Streets


The guide includes a description of shared streets, an overview of vision disabilities and the strategies people with vision disabilities use to navigate in the public right-of-way. It discusses the specific challenges pedestrians with vision disabilities face when navigating shared streets. It provides an overview of relevant U.S. guidance, a toolbox of strategies for designing shared streets that improve accessibility for pedestrians with vision disabilities, and ideas on how accessibility for pedestrians with vision disabilities can be addressed in the planning and design process.

It provides information from case studies of completed shared streets in the United States that highlight accessibility features and lessons learned, as well as a bibliography that includes sources specifically referenced in the body of the guide and other sources that inspired the guide content and may be useful for shared street designers.

Published October 31, 2017

About the Author


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the US Department of Transportation, provides expertise, resources, and information to improve the nation's highway system and its intermodal connections. The Federal-Aid Highway Program provides financial assistance to the States to construct and improve the National Highway System, other roads, bridges, and trails.

More articles by this author

More Articles in this Category

Minimizing Risk and Liability

This document is a best practices manual intended to give guidance and direction on minimizing risk and liability for persons with an interest in operating and maintaining trails. Specifically, it seeks to help trail operators, managers and owners, mitigate risk and reduce liability, that can arise from trail design, trail use and maintenance operations. The techniques discussed here are intended to be applied with prudence and due consideration of the particular circumstances of each trail.

Safe Routes to Everywhere

Transportation connects people and places. It provides access to jobs, education, shopping and recreation. More than one-quarter of all trips we make are less than a mile — an easy walking distance — and nearly one-half of all trips are within three miles — an easy biking distance. Yet, we make more than 78 percent of these short trips by car.

Better Bikeways — Innovative Facilities For Safer Bicycling in California

Bicycling has exploded around California as people rediscover this enjoyable, healthy, convenient, environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to get around. Many communities are working to create bicycle networks to encourage further increases in bicycling and attract new riders, especially in urban areas. Toward that end, some cities — drawing from successful international models — have experimented with a variety of innovative bicycle facilities not even imagined a decade ago.

Micromobility Devices on Multiuse Trails

Transportation in communities across America is changing with the advent of many small and light personal mobility options, which typically run on electric motors, such as electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes), e-scooters (scooters) and hoverboards. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) offers this perspective to assist communities, trail managers and policy makers in making decisions about how best to manage these devices on nonmotorized multiuse trails.