Guidelines for traffic engineers, contractors, and developers
NEED TO BLOCK OFF A STREET OR SIDEWALK?
If you need to restrict access to a section of a street or sidewalk in Boston for your project, please read through our guide on how to get a Street Occupancy Permit.
We also offer guides to traffic engineers looking to create safe and efficient designs for the City:
- A1 Concrete Signal Foundation
- A100 Parking Meter Post Installation No. 1
- A101 Parking Meter Post Installation No. 2
- A102 Parking Meter Post Installation No. 3
- A104 Welded Parking Meter Post and Flange
- A105 Parking Meter Post Installation No. 5
- A107 2-inch Meter Posts
- A11.1 Typical Saw Cut Installation for Loop Detectors
- A12.4 Typical Loop Detector Detail
- A13.1 Traffic Signal Post Pedestal Type
- A14.1 Pedestal Base for Standard Traffic Signal Post: Part 1
- A15 Pedestal Base for Standard Traffic Signal Post: Part 2
- A16 Column Base for Standard Traffic Signal Post
- A2.3 Type II Mastarm/Cored Pier Foundation
- A2.4 Standard Mast Arm Spread Foot Foundation
- A201 2-inch and 2.5-inch Sign Post Installation, 12-foot Post
- A203 2-inch Sign Post Installation Surface Mount
- A205 Surface Mount Base for 2-inch Square Post
- A219 Aluminum Sign Blanks Larger than 18 x 18
- A219-1 Aluminum Sign Blanks 18 x 18 or Smaller
- A25 Back Plate for Terminal Block
- A26.1 19 Wire Terminal Block with Accessories
- A3.1 Concrete Control Box Foundation CA and CB Cabinets
- A3.4 Concrete Control Box Foundation CC and CD Cabinets
- A3.5 Type CB Control Cabinets
- A30 Height Requirements for Mounting Traffic Signal Equipment
- A302 Pavement Markings for Parking Meter Stalls
- A303 Pavement Markings for Parking Meter Stalls
- A304 Angle Parking Stalls
- A306 Crosswalks with 12-inch Longitudinal Lines
- A307 Crosswalks with 24-inch Longitudinal Lines
- A308 Special Emphasis Crosswalks
- A309 Standard Crosswalks
- A310 Trolley Track Left Turn Arrow
- A311 Lane Line Pavement Markings
- A312 Mast Arm Sign Mount
- A313 Neckdown Standard Width
- A314 Lane Use Control Word and Symbol Markings
- A36 Cable Wiring IMSA 19-1, 19-5
- A36.1 Cable Wiring I.M.S.A 19-2, 19-6
- A37.3 Conduit Installation and Roadway Patch Detail
- A38 Typical Installation of PVC Conduit
- A40 12 x 24 Precast Concrete Handhole
- A40.1 Precast Interconnect Manhole
- A40.2 Manhole (Frame and Cover)
- A42 Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon
- A43 Pedestrian Sign and Pushbutton Saddle
- A43A Pedestrian Pushbutton Sign Legend
- A44 Handhole Detail for Steel Mast Arm Type II
- A45 Steel Mast Arm Detail
- A48 Overhead Traffic Signal Service Connection
- A50 Standard Mast Arm Street Name Sign
- A51 Street Name Sign Specification Detail
- A8.1 12 x 24 Cast Iron Handhole Frame and Cover
- A8.2 Polymer Frame and Cover Assembly
- 8IN & 12IN Traffic Signals
- Accessible Pedestrian Pushbutton System
- Actuated Controllers Addenda to MHD Specifications
- ADA Push Button Assembly
- Battery Backup System
- Closed Loop Field Master
- Fiber Optic Interconnect System
- Fiberoptic/Copper Communication Interface
- General Notes
- LED 12IN Vehicle Traffic Signals
We want your project to fit the neighborhood you plan to build in, while also making the best use of the land.
The Zoning Board of Appeals adopted our guidelines for developers in 2003. Although we created the guidelines to help the board make its decisions, we recommend you follow in your projects.
If your project follows the Large Project review process, you will need to get a Transportation Access Plan Agreement. If you are building a structure that takes up a gross floor area of 50,000 or more square feet, it’s considered a Large Project.
- Service and Loading
- Transportation Access
- Plan Agreement
- Parking Ratios
- Full Version of Guidelines
Does your project have an off-street loading site? We have guidelines for how you should set up loading points. The goal is to make things as efficient as possible, while minimizing the effect on pedestrians and traffic.
You will need to get our approval for the size of the trucks you plan to use to load and unload. We’ll need to see a site plan that includes the truck turning path into the loading site. You need to create the plan at a 1:20 scale.
You will also need to be able to answer the questions in our Off-Street Loading guidelines. If your plan is approved, a engineer signs and stamps your plans.
Installing Traffic Data Devices
If you want to install a device to track and study traffic data, there are some strict guidelines:
Every side of the device needs to have your company’s name and a 24-hour telephone number to reach the device’s owner. The print needs to be big enough to read from a distance.
Seven days before you set up the device, you need to put together a list that contains:
- the locations and color of the devices
- a sample of the print size and type on each device, and
- any other useful information to help identify the devices.
Bring that list to the Transportation Department in Room 721 and the Public Works Department in Room 714 at Boston City Hall:
1 City Hall Square
Boston MA 02201
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
If you change your devices or move them around, you need to let both departments know. If you have any questions about the program, call the Transportation Department at 617-635-4680.
The Transportation Department is leading an effort to give pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users the access to City streets that car drivers enjoy. We hope to create streets that are great publics spaces and last a long time.
We’re also searching for innovative ways to address climate change and promote healthy living. Learn more about Boston’s complete streets.
You can only use the information on our website as a reference. If you rely on it for your business, the City of Boston can’t be held accountable if you suffer any financial losses.
You can use these plans and specifications to guide your work, but they are not official City documents.