Page 1

Download this document


To accomplish these principles, the City has developed a new set of street types that will guide both future development and road design projects. The new street types will supplement the existing street classification system and support Complete Street designs that reflect the diverse range of conditions in Boston and will help ensure that streets are multimodal.

It is important to note that street types are not necessarily continuous along the entire length of a street. A single street may change its type along its length as either the surrounding land use or function of the road changes. For example, a street may transition from a neighborhood residential street to a neighborhood main street, and then back to a neighborhood residential street again, as it passes through the commercial center of a community.

Street Types

The following principles guide the development of Boston’s new street types.


In addition to reflecting a range of land-use contexts, the new types include three special types—Shared Streets, Parkways and Boulevards—that are characterized more by design elements unique to that type of street than by adjacent land use. Following is a description of the new street types.

Principle 1 Boston’s streets should be sensitive to the surrounding land uses and the environmental, cultural, and historical context. Principle 2 Streets should be recognized as an essential component of Boston’s vibrant public spaces. Principle 3 Boston’s streets should serve multiple functions and encourage non-motorized uses.

Boston Transportation Department

UPDATED AS OF December 2010

Boston Complete Streets Guidelines


1-1 Principles  
1-1 Principles  

Chapter 1 Section 1: Street type principles