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.
Below are local agency design standards and other resources from WSDOT and the City and County Design Standards committees.
- LAG Chapter 42 - City/County Design Standards for All Routes (updated 2022)
- Project Development for Local Agencies – Includes design, specification, construction, and maintenance guidelines for local agencies, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and pavement services
- Local Agency Guidelines (LAG) Manual – Provides policies and standards for local agencies to follow when using Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds for transportation projects.
- City and County Design Standards Committee – committee membership (page 42-2)
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.
- Conformed Agreement: City Streets as Part of State Highways (2013) – Guidelines reached by WSDOT and AWC on the interpretation of selected topics of Chapter 47.24 RCW and figures of WAC 468-18-050 for the construction, operations, and maintenance responsibilities for city streets that are part of state highways
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
- Bellingham Public Works Development Guidelines and Improvement Standards
- Federal Way Development Standards Manual (revised 2019)
- Kennewick Standard Specifications and Details
- Seattle Standard Plans and Specifications (2020)
- Spokane Municipal Code Ch. 17H.010 - Street Development Standards
- Vancouver Transportation Development Review and Capital Standard Plans (2021)
- Yakima Engineering – Includes standards and specifications for roads
30,000 to 70,000 Population
- Longview Special Provision & Standard Drawing Sections
- Lacey Development Guidelines and Public Works Standards (2017)
- Lynnwood Public Works Standard Plans Index
- Marysville Engineering Design & Development Standards
- Pullman Design Standards (2018)
- Redmond Standard Specifications (2019)
- Walla Walla Standard Plans (2018)
15,000 to 30,000 Population
- Bainbridge Island Design & Construction Standards
- Ellensburg Development Standards (updated 2019)
- Mill Creek Design and Construction Standard Plans (2022)
- Moses Lake City Standards and Specifications
- Tukwila Infrastructure Design and Construction Standards (2019)
Under 15,000 Population
- Cheney Public Works Department – Includes engineering and design standards and details
- Port Townsend Engineering Design Standards Manual (1997)
- Ridgefield Public Works & Engineering – Includes current engineering standards for public works construction
- Woodinville Transportation Infrastructure Standards & Specifications (2016)