Project Summary

Streets and sidewalks make up 56% of the land owned by the City of Boston. Recognizing this land as a commodity, the City established a new vision for street design with the publication of the Complete Streets Design Guidelines. Authored by Toole Design and our project partners, the guide addresses details that are often glossed over in street design manuals, while also giving the designer the flexibility to use creative solutions. From best practices in storm water management to the latest in smart curbside technologies, guidance on innovative street designs is conveyed in a clear and stunning layout that has won national awards from APA and ITE. Most importantly, it continues to guide the development of complete streets in the City of Boston today.



Boston’s Complete Streets Guidelines put people walking, biking, and taking transit on equal footing with people driving.

The City of Boston set out to ensure that Boston’s streets would evolve to be multimodal, green and smart in their use of technology, allocation of space, and their approach to stormwater management.

It is available in both hardback, and for download from the City’s website.

Each chapter begins by laying out the City’s goals and principles for Complete Streets design, followed by specific guidance on how to achieve them in practice.

The guide emphasizes both short- and long-term strategies for placemaking through reclaiming space at intersections with curb extensions, parklets, bikeshare, and green infrastructure.
The guide includes recommendations for traffic operations, to balance the needs of all road users.
Integrating transit into street designs is a hot issue in Boston, demanding novel and intelligent solutions for limited rights-of-way.
"The Guidelines contain both aspirational design principles and detailed dimensional guidelines. The result is both engaging to the general public and informative for design and engineering professionals."
American Planning Association
2015 National Planning Excellence Awards, Communications Initiative

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