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The Final Rule to amend Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations Part 625 (Design Standards for Highways) was published in the Federal Register today, January 3, 2022 [Docket No. FHWA-2019-0030 at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/01/03/2021-28236/design-standards-for-highways] and takes effect on February 2, 2022. Use of the updated standards is required for all National Highway System (NHS) projects authorized to proceed with design activities on or after February 2, 2023 unless FHWA grants an extension for unique or extenuating circumstances. All projects authorized prior to this date may continue to use the standards previously in effect or the new standards.

The new standards for the NHS include the 2018 edition of the AASHTO "A Policy on Geometric Design Highways and Streets" (2018 Green Book). The 2018 Green Book supports efforts to develop Complete Streets that ensure the safe and adequate accommodation of all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users, children, older individuals, individuals with disabilities, motorists, and freight vehicles.

While the 2018 Green Book is the adopted standard for NHS highways, public entities may wish to also reference other documents to inform the planning and design process, such as the Urban Street Design Guide published by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, and the AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities. These and other publications can support public entities in developing transportation projects that incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities. Such projects improve safety for all modes, create more equitable access to transportation, and combat climate change.

Additional information on this final rule is contained in the attachment. Please work with your State and local stakeholders to make them aware of these changes and monitor the implementation of these updated standards.

Should you or your staff have questions, please contact Elizabeth Hilton, Geometric Design Program Manager, 202-924-8618, Elizabeth.hilton@dot.gov, or Derek Soden, Structural Engineering Team Leader, 202-493-0341, Derek.Soden@dot.gov.


Updated: 01/03/2022
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000