Shared Street Mixes Pedestrians and Cars—Truly Radical

A new development in Washington, D.C. features the largest "shared space" in the United States.
December 12, 2017, 12pm PST | snewberg | @JoeUrbanist
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The Wharf, prior to opening a street to a shared environment.
Ron Cogswell

The Wharf, a new mixed-use development in southwest Washington, D.C., features a "shared street." At 60 feet wide and several blocks long, the right-of-way is carefully designed to allow vehicular traffic while favoring pedestrians. Although the development has only been open for a short time, the street is performing as expected. 

Designed by Stan Eckstut of Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, the street is carefully calibrated to be pedestrian-friendly first and foremost. Vehicles are somewhat restricted thought not forbidden. A benefit of little traffic on Wharf Street is it allows for truck deliveries, 

Wharf Street includes an array of street furniture, granite bollards, stripes of pavement and other design features visibly make the pedestrian at home and discourage vehicle speed. The street is even served by a cycletrack.

Even alleys that branch off Wharf Street are pedestrian-friendly. Blair Alley runs between an apartment building and an office building and provides truck docks for both buildings. Nearby Water Street acts as an alley, even hosting a scattering of shops. And like Blair Alley, Water Street provides a meaningful pedestrian connection to the waterfront.

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Published on Friday, December 8, 2017 in Public Square: A CNU Journal
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