The Street Design Manual is New York City’s comprehensive resource for street design standards, guidelines, and policies. It draws from a wide range of resources and experience to present a coherent set of choices for street design. These range from ubiquitous features, such as standard sidewalk concrete and street lights, to newer design elements like pedestrian safety islands, bus bulbs, and protected bicycle lanes.
The first edition of the Manual was released in May 2009 and updated in July 2010. This second edition, released in October 2013, includes updates and new content, based on feedback from users and comprehensive inter- and intra-agency review. Highlights include:
- New Process chapter describes how street projects are planned, designed, and implemented
- New Landscape chapter includes expanded content on stormwater-capturing infrastructure, plantings in the public right-of-way, and information on the planning, design, and implementation of landscape projects
- Reorganized Lighting chapter provides updated pole and fixture options
- Expanded Furniture chapter
- Expanded and updated introductions to all the previously existing chapters, mostly to clarify process issues
Since the publication of the first edition of the Manual, New York City has eliminated some treatments, tested new ones, and incorporated still more into its toolbox. Key additions and changes include the construction of raised crosswalks (2.3.4); the development of a standard detail for permeable interlocking concrete pavers (3.1.12) for use adjacent to public schools; the selection of a standard LED fixture (4.2.2) and of teardrop and shielded teardrop LED fixtures (4.2.5); the design and deployment of bike share stations (5.4) and the WalkNYC wayfinding system (5.11); and the completion of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) right-of-way bioswale detail (6.6.1a).
Download or Purchase the Manual
The Street Design Manual is available for download as a PDF, either as one complete document or in individual sections. To save paper, all files are formatted to be printed double-sided. Download the entire manual (low resolution, 24 MB pdf) Download the entire manual (high resolution, 50 MB pdf) Purchase printed copies of the Manual from CityStore
Download individual chapters at print resolution:
- Cover and front matter (500 KB pdf): Foreword, preface, table of contents, acknowledgements, and introduction
- Introduction (7 MB pdf): Purpose, background, and street design policy
- 1. Process (4 MB pdf): How DOT street projects originate and how they are planned, designed, and implemented
- 2. Geometry (8 MB pdf): A "toolbox" of geometric street treatments to enhance safety, mobility, and sustainability
- 3. Materials (3 MB pdf): Specific materials with recommendations for use, and references to appropriate specifications
- 4. Lighting (12 MB pdf): Options for both new and replacement street and pedestrian lighting for New York City streets
- 5. Furniture (6 MB pdf): Freestanding elements on streets and in plazas
- 6. Landscape (9 MB pdf): General guidelines for the selection, design, installation, and maintenance of plantings in the public right-of-way
- Glossary & Appendices (500 KB pdf)
- Appendix A: Agency Roles on the City's Streets
- Appendix B: Legal & Design Guidance References
Addenda & Updates
The Street Design Manual is, by its nature, a work in progress. Its information and guidance will be refined based on evolving best practices and real-world experience with its usage in New York City. Specific treatments may be added, updated or removed, as appropriate, over time.
Therefore, DOT issues occasional updates and addenda to the Manual. As changes are made, revised chapters will be posted on this website above and revised pages will be posted below to allow users to print and insert them into their hard copies.
Release of first edition: May 20, 2009
Update to first edition: July 9, 2010
Release of second edition: October 18, 2013
For questions, comments and suggestions related to the New York City Street Design Manual, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For inquiries regarding specific sites or project designs, contact the local DOT Borough Commissioner. For inquiries regarding standard specifications, refer to the Department of Design and Construction’s Infrastructure Design Standards.