Streets (or local sometimes called local roads) have the function of providing access rather than serving as a through road for traffic.
Streets may be divided or undivided, typically have design speeds ranging from 30km/h to 50km/h, and connect to the surrounding road network with signalised and unsignalised intersections and roundabouts. Very often heavy vehicle access to streets is restricted either by weight limit and/or curfews.
Historically, as a result of poor planning and design, risk of conflicts among different users has often been high on streets. Urban road environments have often characterized by high traffic volume and limited visibility which disadvantages disadvantage non-motorized road users. Contemporary design emphasises liveability and safety, prioritising active mobility (walking and bicycling) and public transport. Traffic calming techniques and low speed zones should be actively incorporated into street design. Cities are increasingly adopting area-wide 30km/h speed limits on streets in order to promote safety and quality of life. In some cases, closing streets to general motorised traffic at designated times, days or permanently is improving access and safety for sustainable transport users, as well as reducing localised congestion, noise and air pollution.