Access and Connectivity
Standards specific to Access and Connectivity support the city's mobility and climate goals by providing comfortable walking, cycling, transit, and other active modes of transportation in new development and the redevelopment of property. These standards apply to all development of vacant land, all construction of new structures, all modification of existing structures, the subdivision of land, and development on parcels, unless otherwise stated in the code. In addition to the design standards, we do also require compliance with other safety regulations, the American with Disabilities Act, and the Solid Waste Ordinance and the Solid Waste Design Standards.
Design Standards Purpose
To maintain access and connectivity throughout the city, design standards ensure that streets are designed to:
- Provide safe and convenient access for bicyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles to and from streets, parks, schools, public transit facilities, and public and private institutions as much as possible
- Connect existing and proposed pathways and trails
- Accommodate pedestrian and bicycle travel on streets, or on off-street pathways, where the terrain allows
- Allow types of traffic to enter and exit a development or subdivision without having to rely on the main street networks
- Incorporate traffic-calming strategies, such as curb extensions, median islands, speed bumps, chicanes, traffic filters, and neighborhood traffic circles
Boise's public streets are owned and governed by the Ada County Highway District (ACHD), Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD), and other governmental or quasi-governmental entities. These standards include:
- Street design
- Street grades
- Dead-end streets
- Street names
- Grated streets, driveways, and/or subdivisions; and
- Insufficient roadway width
In general, private streets are strongly discouraged, and only allowed when approved by the city based on unique circumstances. In the event a private street is approved, guidance is provided to ensure that the overall goals for access and connectivity are considered and upheld, including both general standards and additional standards related to Single-Family-Detached and Attached as well as Duplex Residential.
Public and Private Alleys
To ensure that alleys, both public and private, are passable, they must meet ACHD standards and be a minimum of 12 feet wide if one-way, or 20 feet wide for a two-way alley.
Cul-de-sacs should be avoided where possible, and are only allowed when unusual terrain or site conditions prevent a through street connection. In the event they are approved, they must connect to the closest local street, collector, or arterial, to adjacent cul-de-sacs, or to any adjacent existing or proposed public open space, park, pathway, trail or school with a pedestrian easement or public right-of-way using these standards.
Block Size and Design
Standard lengths and widths for new blocks in a residential or mixed-use zoning districts are required to encourage consistency and walkability. Each block will be bordered by public or private streets. These standards may be adjusted by the Planning Director if determined necessary because of unusual terrain or site conditions.
Cross-Access Between Adjacent Mixed-Use and Nonresidential Uses
In order to promote access between adjacent mixed-use and nonresidential uses, standards require the optimization of lot layouts to allow for shared parking and shared access points to a street. One or more of the following standards may apply:
- Connecting streets and driveways
- Coordinating parking lot and parking structure entrances
- Common service/delivery areas
- Legally shared parking lots and parking structures
- Linkages between parking lots and parking structures; or
- Providing shared access for two adjacent lots from public rights-of-way to minimize driveways
Transit stop standards support overall public transportation initiatives by setting forth requirements for sites identified for future transit stops.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Connectivity and Circulation
Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity and circulation standards ensure these modes of travel are safe for people to navigate through the city. Guidelines include:
- Sidewalks and pedestrian facilities
- Multi-use pathways
- Connection to sidewalks, bikeways, and multi-use pathways
- Consent of irrigation easement holders; and
- Design standards
General Ingress and Egress
Standards to enter and exit a property via driveways or service drives.
© 2024 City of Boise. All rights reserved.
Message Sent Successfully!
Message Failed To Send.
Send a Message to Planning
Thank you for your interest in the Planning division. Please fill out the form below and a representative will be in touch with you. If you are inquiring about a specific project, please include the record number or project address.