Updated December 2015

NYC DOT – Street Design Manual

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 and updated in December 2015 , includes updates and new content, based on feedback from users and comprehensive inter- and intra-agency review.

Highlights of the Updated Second Edition include:

  • Expanded focus on considerations and design practices related to universal design principles in chapter introductions and design treatments
  • Additional content on resiliency measures in capital project origination section, chapter introductions and design treatments
  • Revised Lighting Chapter representing citywide shift to LED streetlights and the adoption of the BUG rating system
  • Updated Landscape Chapter reflecting evolution in the city’s stormwater management practices since 2013

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, 28 MB pdf)
Download the entire manual (high resolution, 85 MB pdf)
Purchase printed copies of the Manual from CityStore

Download individual chapters at print resolution:

  • Cover and front matter (1 MB pdf): Foreword, preface, table of contents, acknowledgements, and introduction
  • Introduction (7 MB pdf): Purpose, background, and street design policy
  • 1. Process (5 MB pdf): How DOT street projects originate and how they are planned, designed, and implemented
  • 2. Geometry (12 MB pdf): A “toolbox” of geometric street treatments to enhance safety, mobility, and sustainability
  • 3. Materials (11 MB pdf): Specific materials with recommendations for use, and references to appropriate specifications
  • 4. Lighting (9 MB pdf): Options for both new and replacement street and pedestrian lighting for New York City streets
  • 5. Furniture (8 MB pdf): Freestanding elements on streets and in plazas

  • 6. Landscape (17 MB pdf): General guidelines for the selection, design, installation, and maintenance of plantings in the public right-of-way
  • Glossary & Appendices (260 KB pdf)
    • Appendix A: Agency Roles on the City’s Streets

    • Appendix B: Legal & Design Guidance References

Update an Existing Manual

Existing Second Edition Manuals can be updated by following the instructions in the document below. It details the pages that should be reprinted and substituted. Users can choose between the full content update and the shorter document containing only the more substantial changes.

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.

Release of first edition: May 20, 2009

Update to first edition: July 9, 2010

Release of second edition: October 18, 2013

Update to second edition: December 28, 2015

For questions, comments and suggestions related to the New York City Street Design Manual, write to [email protected].

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.