Full Sidewalk

Any planting within the furnishing zone of a Full Sidewalk; may include street trees, ornamental plantings, stormwater plantings, or other types of vegetation. Street trees should be planted wherever possible. While Parks is responsible for the maintenance of the city’s street trees, other ornamental plantings, such as tree bed plantings, are encouraged but will require a maintenance agreement. Stormwater Management Practices are generally installed on sidewalks in DEP Priority Areas to capture stormwater runoff from the roadway where conditions are appropriate

A mix of understory plantings, an allée of trees, and a bioswale knit together the urban fabric of this Upper West Side neighborhood. Plantings maintained by the Columbus Avenue BID: Columbus Avenue, Manhattan
Planted area in front of P.S 234. Planted areas adjacent to schools can provide educational opportunities: Greenwich Street at Chambers Street, Manhattan (Credit: Lynden B. Miller)


See Benefits of Plantings in the ROW in the Introduction


See General Guidelines

See considerations for Tree Bed

  • Adequate access from the street and to building entrances must be maintained
  • Consider environmental and physical stresses plants must withstand, including drought/inundation, sun/shade, heat/cold, wind, compaction, garbage, and animal damage
  • Excluding trees, sidewalk plantings not covered under the Parks-DOT Greenstreets agreement require a maintenance agreement
  • Stormwater Management Practices not covered under the agreement between Parks, DEP, and DOT require a maintenance agreement


See design guidance for Full Sidewalk in the Geometry chapter and Tree Bed

  • Meet minimum size and design requirements of Parks Tree Planting Standards
  • A minimum 8-foot clear path must be maintained in areas with high pedestrian traffic and a 5-foot minimum clear path in areas with low pedestrian traffic. DOT may require a greater clear path, up to 15 feet, in locations with particularly high pedestrian volumes. Exceptions may be approved by DOT on a case-by-case basis.
  • The New York City Zoning Resolution requires that one tree be provided for every 25 feet of curb frontage for new developments and major alterations
  • Maximize available soil volume and select plants with appropriate shape, form, and ultimate size to allow proper sight lines for pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic
  • Consider the installation of Stormwater Management Practices