Usage: Pilot

A series of narrowings or Curb Extensions that alternate from one side of the street to the other forming S-shaped curves to slow traffic. Chicanes discourage or make it impossible for drivers to drive in a straight line. This can reduce vehicular speeds.

click to see the enlarged image
71st Avenue, Queens
E 53rd Street, Brooklyn


  • Forces drivers to drive more slowly and with greater awareness, particularly at mid-block locations
  • Can green and beautify the streetscape with trees and/or vegetation, improving environmental quality and potentially incorporating stormwater source controls


  • May impact street drainage or require catch basin relocation
  • May impact underground utilities
  • May require loss of curbside parking
  • Landscaping or stormwater source controls require a partner for ongoing maintenance, including executing a maintenance agreement
  • May impact snow plows and street sweepers


  • Consider on wide, low-volume, local streets (maximum of two moving lanes) with demonstrated speeding issues
  • Avoid on bus routes, truck routes, and major bike routes


  • Interim chicanes use roadway markings to delineate a curving travel lane, with rubber speed bumps placed at curves to discourage vehicles from driving over markings
  • Interim chicanes are offset from the parking lane and do not result in parking loss
  • Permanent chicanes use concrete Curb Extensions that alternate from one side of the street to the other, and may involve parking loss
  • Use reflective vertical elements to alert drivers and snow plow operators to presence of chicanes
  • Locate trees and/or plantings within chicane curb extensions when appropriate. See Tree Beds and Roadway Plantings in the Landscape chapter
  • Where feasible and if there is a maintenance partner, design planted areas within chicane curb extensions to capture stormwater according to current standards. See Stormwater Management Practices in the Landscape chapter