Current Exhibition > Street Design Manual

Street Design Manual
Street Design Manual

NYC Street Design Manual

An exhibition highlighting the Street Design Manual’s ground-breaking role in transforming New York City’s streets from a network designed primarily for automobiles into one that supports a greater diversity of safe and convenient travel modes and activities with an increasing focus on pedestrians and cyclists.

Ildiko Butler Gallery at Fordham University
Nov. 9, 2022 through Feb. 2, 2023
New York Times

The Street Design Manual is New York City’s resource on street design policies, principles, processes, and best practices.

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) launched in 2009 the first edition of the Street Design Manual which broke ground in providing clarity and guidance to all agencies, organizations and community stakeholders involved in designing New York City’s streets and public realm. At the outset, the graphic design and organization of the manual itself were tantamount to the goals, principles and strategies for pursuing state-of-the-art street design.

The document was part of a broader effort to transform the city’s streets from a network designed primarily for automobiles into one that supported a greater diversity of safe and convenient travel modes with an increasing focus on pedestrians and cyclists. Many of the street design tactics and treatments in the manual’s first edition were aspirational as they had not yet been implemented in the city; the earlier document primarily featured photographs and showcased techniques relying on tactics and examples from other cities.

After more than a decade and successive editions since the manual’s first publication, New York City has made unprecedented strides in reshaping its public right-of-way to meet the evolving needs of its citizenry, including fostering greater safety and mobility and enhancing sustainability and resiliency. The current publication reflects this evolution and solely features New York City projects. In particular, the third edition comprises an expanded toolkit of bike and bus lane treatments, a growing portfolio of street furniture, emphasis on accessibility and a new chapter on programming. With DOT’s fully interactive website, agencies and stakeholders readily have more access to the resource than ever before.

Goals & Principles

Streets make up over 25% of New York City’s total land area; the demands for this space continue to increase and evolve. Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed expanded use of our streets for community programming and restaurants while the imperatives of new technologies such as electrical vehicle charging and critical functions like sidewalk waste containerization pose further challenges. Practitioners and stakeholders will increasingly have to meet these challenges and prioritize walking, cycling and transit while still achieving the principles set forth in the manual and illustrated in this exhibition.

• Safe
• Contextual
• Sustainable and Resilient
• Vibrant
• Balanced and Inclusive
• Cost-effective and Maintainable


“The makeup of asphalt was never something I was curious about until I started biking around the city with Wendy Feuer, former Assistant Commissioner Urban Design + Art + Wayfinding. Through her eyes, street design becomes this vibrant palette that balances safety, programming, sustainability, and resilience.”

Abby Goldstein, Exhibition Curator and Professor, Fordham University

This exhibition is sponsored by the Theatre and Visual Arts Department, Fordham University and was created by a dedicated team committed to making our city a better place to live and work. Thanks go to Wendy Feuer for conceiving the exhibition with Abby Goldstein and all those responsible at DOT for making it happen: Neil Gagliardi, David Moidel, Kim Sillen, Nicholas Pettinati, Christina Yoo, and Shaine Stuhlmuller. Gratitude is further due to Color X and Wilson Duggan.

Special commendations go to former DOT commissioners Janette Sadik-Khan and Polly Trottenberg who spearheaded and directed the successive editions of the Street Design Manual.

Ydanis Rodriguez, Commissioner
Margaret Forgione, First Deputy Commissioner

NYC Department of Transportation
Office of Cityscape & Franchises
55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041
T: 212.839.6550 F:212.839.9895