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Road Code

The County Code - Chapter 49. Streets and Roads - governs the construction of public roads. The road standards used to provide greater detail for the construction of these roads are also included as CHAPTER 49. STREETS AND ROADS - REGULATIONS. These standards are applied according to the Rural, Suburban, and Urban designations that have been adopted by the County Council.

Road Code Areas

The County Council has idenfitied each area of the County as urban, suburban, or rural for road code purposes:

  • Urban Road: a road segment in or abutting a Metro Station Policy Area, Town Center Policy Area, or other urban area expressly identified in a Council resolution. See a map of urban road code areas.
  • Rural Road: a road segment located in a rural policy area as defined in the County Growth Policy; and
  • Suburban Road: a road segment located elsewhere in the County.

A map of the road code areas is shown below. Detailed maps are provided of each of the 17 road code urban areas.

Road Code Areas

Map of Road Code Areas


Road Code Bill

Bill 33-13 specifies maximum lane widths, curb radii, and target speeds on urban roads, define pedestrian improvements. Specific highlights of the bill include:

All Roads

  • 6 feet wide pedestrian refuges must be provided at every intersection on all divided 6-lane roads
  • All roads must include “complete streets” features to promote safe use by all travel modes, and all roads must serve bicyclists without exception
  • Shared use paths are typically 10 feet wide

Urban Roads

  • Through lanes and turn lanes must be no wider than 10 feet unless next to parking or a curb, in which case they must be no wider than 11 feet
  • Parking lanes must be no wider than 8 feet, including the gutter pan
  • Curb radii must be no greater than 15 feet, with a few exceptions
  • Target speeds must be no greater than 25 mph

M-NCPPC staff contacts

Larry Cole


Date of last update: January 20, 2015