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Traffic engineering design guidelines and standards

We have information on design guidelines, plans and specifications, reports and publications, and more.

We offer guidance and standards to traffic engineers looking to create designs for City streets.

Off-street loading

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.

Keep in mind
  • 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.

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.
Give us your information

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.


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.

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