A chicane, or off-set extensions, are constructed features creating extra winding "S-turns" in a road to slow traffic and/or reallocate street space.

Benefits & Problems Addressed: 

Slowed traffic: Chicanes force drivers to slow down in order to shif directions around an extended curb extension,.

Increased public space: Chicanes increase the amount of public space available for various uses such as bike racks, landscaping, storm water facilities or benches.

Street realignment: Chicanes are useful where a street can/must  be realigned directionally from a straight path.

Tips & Techniques

Candidate streets: (1) Where something more than a curb bulb-out is needed to slow traffic or add public space. (2) to add a transition from parallel to angled parking,.(3) where street spaces exists to install off set series of bulbouts.

Maintenance Responsibilities:  Generally, the City is responsible to maintain roadway paving and other features in the roadway, such as medians. While property owners maintain sidewalks and landscaping.

Hot Buttons: Chicanes are not preferred where bulb-outs or choke points on a straight street alignment are a better choice.


Chicanes, SFbetterstreets

Mid-Block Speed Control: Chicanes and Speed Humps, NACTO

Image: Flickr/Richard Dirdl/ Payton Chung