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ARTICLE 5: Streets

ARTICLE 5: Streets

ARTICLE 5A: STREET REGULATIONS

Summary

Streets should be designed to suit their functions. Many streets, especially local ones, have purposes other than vehicular traffic. As an alternative to current N.C. Department of Transportation road standards, the following street designs are provided for non-state maintained streets within the municipal limits of Huntersville and for streets within the Extraterritorial Zoning Jurisdiction which will be maintained by the town upon annexation. Streets built to the standards of this section are eligible for town maintenance.

Streets in Huntersville are to be inviting public space and integral components of community design. A hierarchical street network should have a rich variety of types, including bicycle, pedestrian, and transit routes. All streets should connect to help create a comprehensive network of public areas to allow free movement of automobiles, bicyclists and pedestrians. In order for this street network to be safe for motorists and pedestrians, all design elements must consistently be applied to calm automobile traffic.

In summary, streets shall:

1. Interconnect within a development and with adjoining development. Culs-de-sac shall be allowed only where topographical and/or lot line configurations offer no practical alternatives for connections or through traffic. Street stubs shall be provided within development adjacent to open land to provide for future connections. The Land Development Map should be reviewed to locate potential connections in new neighborhoods.

2. Be designed as the most prevalent public space of the town and, thus, scaled to the pedestrian.

3. Be bordered by sidewalks on both sides, with the exception of rural roads, lanes, alleys, and the undeveloped edge of neighborhood parkways. Sidewalks on one side of the road may be permitted in the Rural zone as an incentive to protect water quality.

4. Be lined with street trees on both sides, with the exception of rural roads, lanes, alleys, and the undeveloped edge of neighborhood parkways. Private drives are permitted only as described in the Rural and Transitional zone.

5. Be public. Private streets are not permitted within any new development. Alleys will be classified as public or private depending on function, according to the street acceptance policy.

6. Be the focus of buildings. Generally, all buildings will front on public streets.

Intersections and Blocks




Intersections

Segments of straight streets should be interrupted by intersections designed to

a. disperse traffic flow and reduce speeds, thereby eliminating the creation of de facto collector streets with high speed, high volume traffic; and

b terminate vistas with a significant natural feature, a building, a small park, or other public space.

Other traffic calming measures such as neckdowns, chicanes, mid-block diverters, intersection diverters, curb bulbs, serial hill crests, and related devices will be considered on a case by case basis, based on safety and appropriateness in the proposed location.

Blocks

Street blocks defined by public streets are the fundamental design elements of traditional neighborhoods. In urban conditions, any dimension of a block may range from 250 to 500 linear feet between cross streets. In major subdivisions the dimension of blocks may not exceed 800 linear feet between cross streets. Within large-lot subdivisions the blocks may be up to 1500 feet. The block pattern should continue to establish the development pattern at the project edge. Where a longer block will reduce the number of railroad grade crossings, major stream crossings, or where longer blocks will result in an arrangement of street connections, lots and public space more consistent with this Article and Article 7 of these regulations, the Town Board may authorize greater block lengths at the time of subdivision sketch plan review and approval.

Acceptance of Streets

Streets shall be accepted in accordance with the Street Acceptance Policy adopted by the Board of Commissioners and on file in the office of the Town Manager.

Street Plan Types

The layout of streets should provide structure to the neighborhoods. The formality of the street plan will vary depending upon site conditions and topography. Unique site conditions should be used to create special neighborhood qualities. The following are examples of street plan types, noting advantages and disadvantages.


   
 

 
 

 
   

Defining the Public Space of the Street

As the most prevalent public spaces in Huntersville, streets should be spatially defined by buildings. Proper alignment and delineation of the public street space occurs when the facades of adjacent buildings are aligned much like the walls forming a room. Buildings that make up the street edges are aligned in a disciplined manner. The defined space observes a certain ratio of height to width.

Building articulation must take place primarily in the vertical plane of the façade. Appendages such as porches, balconies, and bay windows are encouraged to promote the transition between the public street and the private dwelling.

For good definition, the ratio of one increment of height to six of width is the absolute maximum, with one to three being a good effective minimum. As a general rule, the tighter the ratio, the stronger the sense of place. Very tight relationships of one to one can create special pedestrian places.

In the absence of spatial definition by facades, disciplined tree planting is an alternative. Trees aligned for spatial enclosure are necessary on streets with deep building setbacks.




Traditional Neighborhood Street Typology


More Urban Conditions: Typical Characteristics


Less Urban Conditions: Typical Characteristics



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ARTICLE 5B: STREET DESIGN

Street Design

Specifications

Designs should permit comfortable use of the street by motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Pavement widths, design speeds, and the number of motor travel lanes should be minimized to enhance safety for motorists and non-motorists alike. The specific design of any given street must consider the building types which have frontage and the relationship of the street to the overall town street network. The following specifications apply to street design:

a. Street trees and sidewalks are required on both sides of public streets except rural roads, lanes, alleys, and the undeveloped edge of neighborhood parkways except that sidewalks may be permitted on only one side of the street to accommodate low impact design in the Rural district. Planting area for street trees should be a minimum of 7’ in width and sidewalks shall at a minimum be 5’ in width unless otherwise provided. On Commercial Town Streets, sidewalks should be a minimum of 7’ in width. A 10’ minimum width sidewalk with tree grates or cut-outs is encouraged on Commercial Town Streets. Generally, canopy trees shall be planted at a spacing not to exceed 40’ on center. Where overhead utility lines preclude the use of canopy trees, small maturing trees may be substituted, planted 30’ on center.

b. On-street parking is recommended where building type and use will generate regular parking use. Occasional on-street parking can be accommodated without additional pavement width. For streets which serve workplace and storefront buildings, on-street parking lane(s) are required and should be marked as such. An on-street parking lane on at least one side of the street is recommended on streets serving apartments, attached houses, and detached houses with lots 60’ or less in width. On-street parking must also be provided on one side of any street adjacent to a square, park or other Urban Open Space. Parallel on-street parking width is 7’ to 8’. On-street parking should be parallel; angled parking is only permitted as an intentional design element along the main street(s) of the retail center in a planned mixed-use development.

c. Design speeds should not exceed 30 miles per hour on any neighborhood street. Only arterials and town boulevards may exceed this design speed.

d. Traffic control plans showing signage and pavement markings shall be prepared in accordance with the guidance of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The developer is responsible for the initial installation of the devices or markings and the maintenance thereof until the public accepts the street for maintenance.

The following illustrations present typical examples of ways in which town street cross-sections can be assembled. Lane measurements represent the width of travel lanes; add 1 ½ or 2 ½ feet for standard curb and gutter or 2 feet for valley curb and gutter where curb drainage is required.

These specifications may be varied only in accordance with the design principles detailed above and as approved by the Planning Director in consultation with the consulting engineer or transportation.

Street geometries for the sections illustrated on the opposite page are listed below:

 Boulevard
 Design Speed
 35 mph
 Min. Centerline Radius
 To be determined
 Pavement Width
 62'
 ROW width
 86' plus curb and gutter width
 Curb Radius
 15'
 Drainage  Curb
 
Commercial Town Street
 Design Speed
 25 to 30 mph
 Min. Centerline Radius
 165' to 195'
 Pavement Width
 44'
 ROW Width
 74' plus curb and gutter width
 Curb Radius
 15'
 Drainage
 Curb
 
Residential Town Street
 Design Speed
 25 to 30 mph
 Min. Centerline Radius
 165' to 195'
 Pavement Width
 44'
 ROW Width
 68' plus curb and gutter width
 Curb Radius
 15'
 Drainage
 Curb

Street Design Specifications



















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