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City Street and Road Standards

This page provides information on city street and road standards in Washington State, including legal requirements and examples of local standards.


Chapter 35.78 RCW requires cities and towns to adopt uniform definitions and design standards for major and secondary arterials (as well as pedestrian and bicycle facilities). Standards are set through RCW 35.78.030 and RCW 35.78.040 by a state design standards committee in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

These uniform design standards apply to all new construction on major arterial and secondary arterial roads and streets and to reconstruction of such roads and streets as far as practicable. No deviation from the adopted design standards may be made without approval of the WSDOT state aid engineer.

WSDOT Design Standards and Technical Assistance

Below are local agency design standards and other resources from WSDOT and the City and County Design Standards committees.

  • Support for Local Programs – Includes contact information, project delivery guidance, funding programs, training opportunities through the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and other technical assistance
  • All Manuals & Standards – Includes engineering manuals, project delivery memos, general special provisions (GSPs), plan sheet library, and standard plans
  • Local Agency Guidelines (LAG) Manual – Policies and standards for local agencies to follow when using Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds for transportation projects
  • Highway Railroad Coordination – Resources for coordinating highway project delivery with impacts to railroad companies, including railroad crossing safety projects

City Streets as Part of State Highways

Chapter 47.24 RCW discusses city streets that are part of the state highway network, including the responsibilities and jurisdiction of the city and state. The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has also reached an agreement with WSDOT further clarifying some of the provisions of that chapter and the accompanying administrative provisions.

Examples of City Street and Road Standards

Links to city websites with representative street and road standards for cities of given size ranges are shown below. Some of these standards are part of overall development requirements, while others are standalone documents.

Population Greater than 70,000

30,000 to 70,000 Population

15,000 to 30,000 Population

Under 15,000 Population

Last Modified: December 27, 2023