4Legible hierarchies

Design Outcome

A clear and consistent road hierarchy helps to create accessible, legible and safe subdivisions and helps people understand how to get to, and when they are on, main routes.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Clear and intuitive road hierarchies promote safety, legibility and way-finding. 

Travel is safer, more efficient, and more comfortable when people have confidence in where they are and where they are going. A consistent approach to road design also helps to emphasise local access and residential amenity, in order to slow vehicles down to speeds that have lower risks of injury to pedestrians or cyclists.​​​​​​​​

Better Design Practice

  • Focus on the safety of all road users, especially vulnerable pedestrians (including the elderly).
  • Roads should be designed with the needs of people who live along them in mind, not solely from the point of view of vehicle users.
  • Different types of street trees and vegetation should be used to highlight important streets and destinations. 
  • Street layouts should be designed to be clear and easy to understand, accommodating a mix of transport types.
  • Emphasise corners (including bends) with taller street trees.
  • Allow for landmark buildings to contribute to way-finding and legibility.
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles should be applied to the design of all movement routes and open spaces.

Rules of Thumb

1. Use a consistent and easily understandable road design that clearly sets out the purpose of each road type. As a guide:


The context of different roads, including adjacent land uses and the density of those land uses, should inform the selection of road type and its design, and will have an impact on the appropriate landscape treatment. All roads will have both a movement and a place function. 

2. Aim to have street trees on all roads


3. Locate street trees on a berm or on build outs that go out into the on-street parking lane. Street trees can also be located on islands. The exact placement, form or 'shape' and species of street trees should be considered in conjunction with the context and function of the road.


4. Clearly demark street parking lanes. This can be done by different techiques, depending on the location or context of the road, for example by using painted lines, a different material, colour, or finish to the main vehicle carriageway.


This will make the vehicle carriageway seem narrower and slow vehicles down.​