Mid-Block Narrowing

Usage: Wide

Two curb extensions that create a pinch point. A mid-block narrowing (also referred to as a “choker”) physically or visually constricts the roadway, thereby slowing vehicular traffic or alerting drivers to the presence of a mid-block crosswalk. The curb extensions themselves can be of any
variety, for example with plantings or other functional elements. A mid-block narrowing is equivalent to a Gateway located mid-block.

click to see the enlarged image
Interim mid-block narrowing at Midtown Arcade: W 51st Street, Manhattan
Permanent mid-block narrowing: 97th Street, Queens


See benefits of Curb Extension

  • Calms mid-block traffic speeds, particularly when vertical elements (e.g., bollards, trees, bike parking, etc.) are included in curb extensions
  • Enhances drivers’ awareness of presence of crosswalk at mid-block crossing
  • Provides space for greening, community facilities, bike parking, and/or stormwater source control measures


  • At mid-block crossings on two-way streets, it is generally preferable to include a Raised Median or Pedestrian Safety Island rather than or in addition to a mid-block narrowing, when space allows


See application guidance for Curb Extension

  • Local streets with demonstrated speeding issues and/or a mid-block crossing


See design guidance for Curb Extension

  • Reduce lane width at mid-block narrowing to impact vehicle speeds; on low-traffic residential streets, mid-block narrowing can be combined with other design treatments, including Raised Crosswalks, Raised Speed Reducers, or vertical elements for maximum effectiveness
  • Locate trees and/or plantings within curb extensions of mid-block narrowing where appropriate. See Tree Beds and Curb Extension in the Landscape Chapter