Chapter 13.04
STREET STANDARDS

Sections:

13.04.010    Adopted – Application.

13.04.020    Parkways.

13.04.030    Primary (major) arterials.

13.04.040    Secondary arterials.

13.04.050    Collector arterials.

13.04.060    Neighborhood collectors.

13.04.070    Residential access streets.

13.04.075    Residential access streets – Lake Whatcom watershed.

13.04.080    Commercial and business streets.

13.04.090    Industrial streets.

13.04.100    General standards.

13.04.110    Variances.

13.04.010 Adopted – Application.

The street standards set forth in this chapter are adopted and shall be applied to all future street improvements within the city of Bellingham. [Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.020 Parkways.

The standards for parkways are as follows:

A. Function. To permit relatively unimpeded traffic flow through certain scenic areas of the city where an arterial is required for traffic volume and where it is desirable to preserve the beauty of the area as much as such facilities are capable of;

B. Right-of-Way. Ninety-two feet minimum with more width desirable;

C. Driving Lanes. Four to six lanes, divided, with from 24 feet to 36 feet of pavement width for each side;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

E. Median. Variable, with 20 feet desirable. Use of LID facilities in medians area is permitted where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

F. Sidewalks. Not required unless desirable to allow pedestrian traffic;

G. Access Conditions. Divided roadway generally handling noncommercial traffic, with full or partial control of access; frontage roads usually not needed;

H. Traffic Features. Traffic signals to control cross-traffic and turning traffic at grade; parking prohibited; some pedestrian crosswalks allowed at grade; however, in parks, crosswalks should be separated from traffic;

I. Planning Features. Special attention given to design to feature landscape cuts and fills, preservation of groundcover and trees, possible scenic overlooks and other attractions. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.030 Primary (major) arterials.

The standards for primary arterials are as follows:

A. Function. To expedite movement of traffic between major generators such as the central business district, outlying commercial areas or other cities, the college, and industrial areas; to collect and distribute traffic from freeways to less important streets or directly to traffic destinations; the predominant traffic will be through trips with minimum direct service to abutting land uses;

B. Right-of-Way. Eighty feet minimum;

C. Driving Lanes. Four to six lanes with from 24 feet to 36 feet of pavement width per side, 54 feet of total pavement width desirable; however, it may be reduced to 44 feet minimum when right-of-way is unavailable;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible;

E. Median. Six-foot median desirable, with curbs on center optional. Medians shall include vegetated LID facilities where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

F. Sidewalks. Both sides with five-foot-wide walks minimum in residential areas; walks to be wider in commercial areas;

G. Access Conditions. Channelization at intersections or where critical to control turning movements; traffic signals at major intersections; pedestrian crosswalks at grade and parking restricted;

H. Planning Features. Desirable to bypass major shopping areas, parks, and residential developments; should never be adjacent to elementary schools or areas of high pedestrian traffic; primary arterials will seldom be closer than one mile apart. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.040 Secondary arterials.

Standards for secondary arterials are as follows:

A. Function. To collect and distribute traffic from primary arterials to less important streets or directly to secondary traffic generators such as high schools, middle schools, major parks, multiple residence areas, hospitals, major recreation areas, the civic field and similar uses;

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum, with 80 feet desirable;

C. Driving Lanes. Twenty-eight feet minimum, with 38 feet desirable plus eight-foot parking on both sides;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

E. Median. None required;

F. Sidewalks. Five-foot minimum width on both sides;

G. Access Conditions. Intersection at grade with direct access to adjacent property;

H. Traffic Features. Traffic signals at major intersections; pedestrian crosswalks at grade; possible parking restrictions if traffic volume warrants;

I. Planning Features. Secondary arterials will seldom be located closer than one-half mile from a primary or other secondary arterials. It is desirable to bypass major shopping areas and parks; secondary arterials should never be adjacent to elementary schools or areas of high pedestrian traffic. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.050 Collector arterials.

Standards for collector arterials are as follows:

A. Function. To provide traffic movement within smaller areas or neighborhoods by collecting and distributing traffic from primary and secondary arterials to access or residential streets; these streets are located where the traffic volume is increased by the needs of nonresidential land uses or areas of high population densities where primary and secondary arterial service is unavailable;

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum, with 66 feet desirable;

C. Driving Lanes. Forty feet minimum pavement width, with 44 feet width desirable; eight-foot parking lanes on both sides are allowed;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

E. Median. None required;

F. Sidewalks. Five-foot-wide minimum sidewalks on both sides;

G. Access Conditions. Intersections at grade with direct access to adjacent property;

H. Traffic Features. Traffic control measures as warranted, but not to encourage traffic through the neighborhood;

I. Planning Features. Should be located only where a minimum of disruption to the residential uses will occur, if possible; collectors are located no closer than a quarter of a mile from all other arterials. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.060 Neighborhood collectors.

Standards for neighborhood collectors are as follows:

A. Function. To collect and distribute traffic from low-density and single-family areas to the nearest arterial;

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum;

C. Driving Lanes. Thirty-six feet minimum, with 40 feet desirable width for pavement with eight feet of parking on both sides;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided;

E. Median. None required;

F. Sidewalks. Five-foot-wide minimum width on both sides;

G. Access Conditions. Intersections at grade with direct access to adjacent property;

H. Traffic Features. Traffic controls as warranted; trips through the neighborhood should be discouraged;

I. Planning Features. Should be located only where traffic collection is warranted from the residential streets; a minimum of disruption to the neighborhood is of primary consideration. [Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.070 Residential access streets.

Standards for residential access streets are as follows:

A. Function. To provide access to residential property;

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum; however, cul-de-sac of less than 600 feet in length may be reduced to 50 feet in width;

C. Driving Lanes. Thirty-six feet of side pavement with eight feet of parking on both sides; cul-de-sac pavement width may be reduced to 32 feet if cul-de-sac is less than 600 feet in length;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

E. Median. None required;

F. Sidewalks. Five-foot-wide minimum sidewalks on both sides;

G. Access Conditions. Intersection at grade with direct access to adjacent property;

H. Traffic Features. Traffic control measures as warranted to provide adequate sight distance and safety;

I. Planning Features. Residential access streets should be designed to provide continuous or unobstructed flow of traffic through and within the neighborhood: Cul-de-sac shall be located only where dead-end streets are desirable consistent with subdivision regulations. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.075 Residential access streets – Lake Whatcom watershed.

A. Function/Applicability. To provide access to residential property within the Lake Whatcom watershed boundaries within the city of Bellingham. This section shall also apply in an advisory capacity to all development subject to the city of Bellingham interlocal agreements with Whatcom County and/or utility service zone (“USZ”) contracts of USZ contract extensions within the Lake Whatcom watershed.

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum.

C. Driving Lanes. Eighteen feet of pavement within minimum thickness as designated in Section 4 of the Bellingham Development Guidelines, as may be periodically amended.

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided; drainage slots shall flow to a 14-foot swale on one side of the road that shall be two feet deep, with a bottom width of two feet and a maximum 2:1 slope with approval of the city engineer.

E. Median. None required.

F. Sidewalks. The city standard under this section shall be a five-foot sidewalk on one side of the street; the city minimum standard under this section does not require a sidewalk but does require a four-foot minimum grass bench on one side of the street.

G. Access Conditions. Intersections at grade with direct access to adjacent property.

H. Traffic Features. Traffic control measures as warranted to provide adequate sight distance and safety.

I. Planning Features. Residential access streets under this section should be designed to provide continuous or unobstructed flow of traffic through and within the neighborhood. Cul-de-sac shall be located only where dead-end streets are desirable consistent with subdivision regulations. [Ord. 2002-03-017].

13.04.080 Commercial and business streets.

Standards for commercial and business streets are as follows:

A. Function. To serve all uses established in a commercial or business district with a street of adequate width and load capabilities;

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum, with 80 feet desirable;

C. Driving Lanes. Minimum pavement width for 60 feet of right-of-way to be 44 feet and for 80 feet of right-of-way the width is to be 54 feet minimum; parking to be permitted on both sides but possible restrictions may be enforced when necessary;

D. Design Standard. The surface and subsurface of the street shall be constructed to all-weather standards; concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

E. Median. None required unless necessary to prevent midblock turns or to provide additional safety at intersection turning movement channels;

F. Sidewalks. Both sides with eight-foot minimum width on 60-foot right-of-way and 10 feet minimum on 80-foot right-of-way;

G. Access Conditions. Controlled access to be permitted to all parking areas and uses but care should be taken to prevent access to parking and loading spaces which require maneuvering on the street;

H. Traffic Features. Control devices where warranted; pedestrian crosswalks at grade; low speed limits;

I. Planning Features. All streets (not otherwise classified as arterials) within commercial and business zones are to be considered this classification; pedestrian traffic should be encouraged. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.010].

13.04.090 Industrial streets.

Standards for industrial streets are as follows:

A. Function. To provide access to all industrial areas; street to be of adequate design to carry heavy loads that industrial uses encourage;

B. Right-of-Way. Sixty feet minimum, with 100 feet desirable;

C. Driving Lanes. Minimum width of pavement 44 feet with desired minimum of 48 feet;

D. Design Standard. Concrete curbs and gutters and storm drainage to be provided. Curb cuts to vegetated LID facilities are permitted where feasible. “Feasible” shall mean the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual;

E. Median. None required;

F. Sidewalks. One side, with five-foot width as minimum;

G. Access Conditions. Intersections at grade with direct access to adjacent properties;

H. Traffic Features. Traffic control as warranted; parking allowed only where it will cause the minimum of interference with traffic;

I. Planning Features. Streets designated industrial are those located within industrial zones and those which constitute the main access to industrial areas and arterial streets. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2].

13.04.100 General standards.

General standards and regulations are as follows:

A. Permeable pavement shall be utilized within the street right-of-way where feasible, and should be utilized to the maximum extent practicable for right-of-way components such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes and parking areas. “Feasible” means the design criteria, limitations, and infeasibility criteria for each LID BMP as described in the Ecology Manual.

B. Private underground vaults, rooms, or other encroachments shall be prohibited from using any portion of a public right-of-way unless such facilities are specifically allowed by the board of public works and are owned and operated by a franchised public utility company.

C. No work shall be done on a city right-of-way by any private party or persons without a written permit from the board of public works or its duly authorized representative.

D. All street lighting installed on any city street, alley, or right-of-way shall be in accordance with the most recent and current publication of The American Standard Practices for Street and Highway Lighting by the American Standards Association, Incorporated.

E. Maintenance of LID Facilities. Whenever any street has been improved by the construction of an LID facility within the ROW, the duty, burden and expense of repair, renewal and maintenance of such facility shall be either the responsibility of the city, or the responsibility of the directly abutting property owners through a covenant or homeowners’ association. Abutting property owners are only responsible for maintenance if the system is treating runoff from said private site in lieu of on-site stormwater management requirements. All stormwater facilities shall be maintained in accordance with this chapter and the Stormwater Management Manual. Systematic, routine preventive maintenance is preferred. Stormwater facilities are subject to a regular inspection program administered by the public works department. [Ord. 2017-03-009 § 2; Code 1980 at § 11.44.020].

13.04.110 Variances.

A variance from any of the standards specified by this chapter may be granted by the hearing examiner. Such variance may be granted when practical difficulties arise in the design and construction of streets due to topography, geological limitations, and other problems inherent or peculiar to the area upon the recommendation from the city staff and when in the best interest of the public welfare. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 22; Code 1980 at § 11.44.030].