Caltrans Highway Design Manual and Other Caltrans Policy Documents

Updated Highway Design Manual (6th edition, released June 1, 2015)

Highway Design Manual, Chapter 1000, “Bicycle Transportation Design”  The needs of non-motorized transportation are an essential part of all highway projects. Mobility for all travel modes is recognized as an integral element of the transportation system. Therefore, the guidance provided in this manual complies with Deputy Directive 64-Revision #1: Complete Streets: Integrating the Transportation System. See AASHTO, “Guide For The Development Of Bicycle Facilities”. 

Design guidance for Class I bikeways (bike paths), Class III bikeways (bike routes) and Trails are provided in this chapter. Design guidance that addresses the mobility needs of bicyclists on all roads as well as on Class II bikeways (bike lanes) is distributed throughout this manual where appropriate. See Topic 116 for guidance regarding bikes on freeways.

Highway Design Manual, Chapter 100, “Basic Design Policies.”  See Topic 105 for Design of Pedestrian Facilities. This provides standards for basic highway design, including design speed, access control, construction, and coordination with other agencies. It devotes a section to pedestrian facilities and access, and also covers special considerations such as scenic values, air pollution, water pollution, and wetlands protection. The design of sidewalks and walkways varies depending on the standards of the local agency. Most local agencies in California have adopted design standards for urban and rural areas, as well as additional requirements for residential areas, downtowns, and special districts. 

Other Caltrans Policy Documents

Deputy Directive 64 (DD-64) directs that Caltrans “fully considers the needs of non-motorized travelers (including pedestrians, bicyclists and persons with disabilities) in all programming, planning, maintenance, construction, operations and project development activities and products.”

Design Information Bulletin 82-05 (DIB 82-05), Pedestrian Accessibility Guidelines For Highway Projects. This is the 2013 update to DIB 82, which provides design guidelines for facilities that accommodate people with disabilities. 

Caltrans Maintenance Manual Volume 1, July 2014 describes the methods and procedures used in the Caltrans maintenance program. 

Main Streets, California: A Guide for Improving Community and Transportation Vitality

Main Streets focuses on state highways (for which Caltrans is responsible) that also happen to be local main streets. This document presents design concepts to make these streets more walkable and livable and to keep them compatible with community values while assuring safe and efficient operations for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and highway workers. The California Supplement clarifies which policies, practices or standards are different in California, by identifying and including them. It also enhances the federal standards by providing additional details.