Caltrans Policies

What is Caltrans?

Caltrans is the California Department of Transportation and is responsible for providing a safe, sustainable, efficient and integrated transportation system that meets the needs of all roadway users in California.

One of Caltrans' primary goals is to promote health through safe active transportation and reduced air pollution. Explore the policy documents listed below to better understand Caltrans guiding principles for making streets safer for people walking and rolling. Do you know of a Caltrans policy promoting safe active travel not listed here? Please e-mail us at

Caltrans Policy Documents 





Year Updated


Words display California Department of Transportation Project Development Procedures Manual



Project Development Procedures Manual


Provides the framework of policies and procedures for developing State highway improvement projects. The manual is continuously updated to reflect changes in policy and procedures. See Chapter 31 for information about Non-motorized Transportation Facilities.

Screenshot of a memorandum.

Design Information Bulletin

DIB 89-01

Class IV Bikeway Guidance 


Establishes design guidance and criteria around Class IV Bikeways. Provides enhanced guidance for two-way separated bikeways, added guidance for transit stops, additional guidance for separated bikeways adjacent to street parking, and discussion of maintenance using Caltrans equipment.

 U.S. Customary Units"



Highway Design Manual


Provides uniform policies and procedures to carry out California highway design functions of Caltrans.

See Chapter 100, Topic 105 for design guidelines of pedestrian facilities, including accessibility requirements, guidelines for curb ramps, and pedestrian crossings.

See Chapter 1000: Bicycle Transportation Design for design guidelines of Class I (bike paths), Class III (bike routes), and Class II (bike lanes) bikeways. Design guidelines for Class IV bikeways is provided in DIB 89.

Cover of a Complete Streets elements guide book. Features two photos of crosswalks in urban areas and two graphics showing a pedestrian crossing and a painted green bike lane.



Complete Streets Elements Toolbox 2.0


Provides technical guidance for the purpose of translating complex statewide policies into practical Complete Streets roadway element implementation. The guide is continuously updated to reflect changes in policy and design best practices.

Screenshot of a memorandum.

Design Information Bulletin

DIB 82-06

Pedestrian Accessibility Guidelines for Highway Projects


Provides guidance to design State highway pedestrian facilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.

 State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan". Three images feature a person biking on a rural road, someone biking in a motorized vehicle traffic lane in an urban environment, and a group of children using a crosswalk. Plan N/A Toward an Active California: State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan 2017 Provides a roadmap of Caltrans initiatives and strategies to increase mode share of walking, bicycling, and transit use. It is the first statewide active transportation plan for the State and intended to be applied in conjunction with local and regional policies and actions.
Screenshot of a memorandum. Deputy Directive  DD-64-02 Complete Streets - Integrating the Transportation System 2017 Ensures that travelers of all ages and abilities can move safely and efficiently along and across a network of "complete streets". A complete street is defined by Caltrans as a transportation facility that is planned, designed, operated, and maintained to provide safe mobility for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, and motorists appropriate to the function and context of the facility.
Text reads "Table of Contents". Manual N/A Caltrans Maintenance Manual  2014 Describes the methods and procedures used in the Caltrans maintenance program. Intended for Caltrans employees.
 A Guide for Improving Community and Transportation Vitality." Graphics reflect multi-modal transportation in California. Guide N/A Main Street, California: A Guide for Improving Community and Transportation Vitality 2013 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.
Screenshot of a memorandum. Memorandum N/A Additional Guidelines on Curb Ramp Scoping and Design  2013 Provides additional guidelines to achieve the most accessible curb ramp design depending on site and context. The document complements Pedestrian Accessibility Guidelines for Highway Projects, which provides accessible design guidance for roads and sidewalks along State highways.
Cover text reads, "Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities in California". Graphic below title features image of an intersection with pedestrians, bicyclists, and wheelchair users Guide N/A Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities in California: A Technical Reference and Technology Transfer Synthesis for Caltrans Planners and Engineers 2005 Presents a synthesis of information on active transportation and serves as a resource about policies, laws, programs, the Caltrans planning and design process, guidelines, and best practices in active transportation planning and design. It is intended for Caltrans planners and engineers, but local agency staff and the general public may also find it useful.
Cover text reads, "California Blueprint for Bicycling and Walking." Report N/A California Blueprint for Bicycling and Walking: Report to the Legislature  2002 Set goals to increase bicycling and walking trips 50% by 2010, decrease bicycle and pedestrian fatality rates 50% by 2010, and to increase funding for bicycle- and pedestrian-related programs.
Screenshot of a Caltrans Director's Policy. Director's Policy DP-22 Context Sensitive Solutions 2001 Provides guidance on Caltrans adoption of “Context Sensitive Solutions”, an approach to plan, design, construct, maintain, and operate its transportation system. These solutions use innovative and inclusive approaches that integrate and balance community, aesthetic, historic, and environmental values with transportation safety, maintenance, and performance goals. Context sensitive solutions are reached through a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach involving all stakeholders.

Additionally, Caltrans offers a variety of programs intended to promote safe, well designed multi-modal facilities. 

Caltrans Programs