Designing a safe & attractive shared driveway or accessway Print

Desi​gn Checklist

  1. Driveways and accessways that provide dedicated access to terraced houses are designed with similar qualities as an attractive street
  2. Shared driveways and accessways are designed as slow-speed, pedestrian-friendly environments
  3. Shared driveways and accessways are safe and well lit at night

Safe and attractive shared driveways and accessways with good quality interfaces to public streets can reduce crime, engender pride and a sense of ownership, and also reduce some of the psychological barriers to walking ​and cycling to closer destinations. 

Driveways and accessways are often shared by a number of different and sometimes conflicting uses including vehicle access, cyclists and pedestrians, and children's play. Often these areas are poorly surveyed with tall boundary fences or rows of garage doors.

​The quality of shared driveways or accessways is also important as they are the entrance and welcoming point in many terraced housing developments. They also determine how well residents and visitors of all ages and abilities can access the front door.  

This section includes guidance on how to design a safe and attractive shared driveway or accessway.

Better Design Practice

Qualities of safe and attractive driveways include: 
  • a clearly visible, sheltered and driveway-facing front entrance 
  • quality landscape treatment that includes planting and low or visually permeable fencing
  • overlooking from habitable rooms
  • low level wall-mounted, shielded or bollard lighting. Sensor or timing lighting on front doors and porches is also encouraged to improve visibility at night. 

Slow-speed design initiatives to slow driver behaviour and make driveways and shared accessways safer for pedestrians and cyclists include: 
  • horizontal shifts in vehicle paths to reduce driver speeds. This is also assisted by vertical landscape elements such as trees and landscape build outs
  • changing paving materials or tactile surface treatments can guide movement without the need for signage or markings
  • use of shared surface approaches

  • Avoid any large expanse of asphalt or concrete. Consider expressing joints or incorporating contrasting bands or textures into large paved areas in order to provide visual relief, and use planting to create further visual interest.
  • Rubbish storage areas should be screened within enclosures designed as part of the overall streetscape to ensure they don’t detract from the attractiveness of the driveway. 
  • Develop and retain mature landscaping within driveways. 
  • Incorporate water sensitive design such as swales along driveways to manage stormwater run-off. Combine with use of high-performing permeable pavers to encourage absorption. Water sensitive design can also add amenity and value to the development.

Rules of Thumb

Driveways or accessways should include a clearly delineated footpath with a minimum width of 1500mm (this width should increase if serving a larger number of units). The footpath should be integrated into the design of the driveway and utilise consistent streetscape design language / materials. Separate vehicle entries from main pedestrian entries.
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