Proposed change in federal regulations for road design to make them better for bicycling and walking: Public comment requested | Federal Highway Administration

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The geometric design standards for projects on the National Highway System (NHS) are incorporated by reference in FHWA regulations. These design standards are comprehensive in nature, covering a multitude of design characteristics, while allowing flexibility in application. Exceptions may be approved on a project basis for designs that do not conform to the minimum or limiting criteria set forth in the standards, policies, and standard specifications.

The FHWA is updating its policy regarding controlling criteria for design. The current policy identifies 13 controlling criteria for design and requires formal design exceptions when any of the 13 controlling criteria are not met. The FHWA intends to further streamline the controlling criteria, and the application of these criteria, based on the results of recent research that evaluated the safety and operational effects of the 13 controlling criteria. The FHWA also intends to clarify when design exceptions are required and the documentation that is expected to support such requests. This notice solicits comments on the proposed revisions to the 13 controlling criteria for the design of projects on the NHS that require a design exception when adopted design criteria are not met, in accordance with FHWA regulations.


Comments must be received on or before December 7, 2015. Late comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

MoBikeFed comment: Please take a moment to visit the website and leave a comment in support of this important change in federal regulations for roads and streets.

We have been working with our national allies and peer groups across the country to encourage the Federal Highway Administration to take positive steps to support their Safer People, Safer Streets campaign to improve safety for people who walk and bicycle in our communities.

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