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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 92. Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements
4/4/2020

24VAC30-92-120. Design and Agreement Requirements.

A. General requirements. Most criteria addressing the design of new streets can be found in the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT) and its Appendix B (1), the Subdivision Street Design Guide. However, the following provisions are provided for guidance, particularly in regard to features that require agreements or formal acknowledgements of the governing body before VDOT's acceptance of the street or streets within a development.

When an agreement is required between the local governing body and the department as a prerequisite to the acceptance of a street, nothing in these requirements shall preclude the local governing body from entering into separate agreements with other entities to fulfill its responsibilities. However, if the provisions are intended to ensure the safety of the public using the street, the department reserves the right to approve the involvement of the other party or parties.

All streets functionally classified as local shall have a design speed equal to the posted speed limit, except for streets functionally classified as local with a projected traffic volume of 400 vehicles per day or less, which may have a design speed less than the posted speed limit.

The department, locality, and developer shall take measures to minimize the impacts of through traffic on streets functionally classified as local and accepted into the secondary system of state highways under these regulations. Such measures shall include initial street designs that manage motor vehicle speed to match local context.

B. Geometric requirements. Geometric requirements for new streets are established in the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT) and its Appendix B (1), the Subdivision Street Design Guide. Sufficient off-street parking must be provided by the local governing body in accordance with this chapter if streets in a proposed network addition are constructed in accordance with design requirements for streets with off-street parking.

C. Turn lanes. Left or right turn lanes shall be provided at intersections when the department determines that projected turning movements warrant their installation. These facilities shall be designed in accordance with the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT) and its Appendix B (1), the Subdivision Street Design Guide and, if necessary, additional right-of-way shall be provided to accommodate these facilities.

D. Pavement structure.

1. Pavement design. The pavement structure for new streets shall be in accordance with the Pavement Design Guide for Subdivision and Secondary Roads in Virginia, 2009 (VDOT), including any prescribed underdrains. Prior to construction of the pavement sub-base and finish courses, the district administrator's designee shall approve the proposed pavement design.

2. Special pavement surfaces. The district administrator's designee may approve special pavement surfaces, such as the use of stamped pavement. However, if the pavement design is a type not addressed by the Pavement Design Guide for Subdivision and Secondary Roads in Virginia, 2009 (VDOT), an agreement shall be provided by the governing body that addresses the future maintenance of such pavement.

3. Pavement additions to existing streets. When an existing VDOT-maintained roadway is to be widened to accommodate additional lanes or the addition of turn lanes, the necessary pavement design shall be obtained from the district administrator's designee and the entire surface of the roadway (old and new portions) may be required to be overlaid and restriped if required by the district administrator's designee. The district administrator's designee shall not require the entire surface of the roadway to be overlaid and restriped when the only pavement addition to the existing roadway was for bicycle lanes unless extenuating circumstances require that the entire surface of the roadway be overlaid and restriped.

E. Parking.

1. Perpendicular and angle parking along streets is normally prohibited. However, perpendicular and angle parking along streets may be considered if the features along the street cause the street to readily appear to be a street rather than a travel way through a parking lot.

Street design that anticipates limited or no on-street parking shall be approved when sufficient off-street parking is provided in accordance with this chapter. Street design that anticipates the restriction of on-street parking on one side of the street shall be approved when sufficient off-street parking is provided for buildings on the side of the street where it is anticipated parking will be restricted.

2. For streets designed without on-street parking, a minimum of two off-street parking spaces per dwelling unit shall be provided in proximity of the unit that they are intended to serve. Such spaces, which may be provided in a parking bay, driveway, or garage facilities, shall be provided outside of the street's right-of-way. The district administrator's designee may approve lesser parking requirements for individual developments or classes of developments when evidence is presented to support such an approval such as proximity to transit service or the nature of the development. Entrances to parking bays and garage facilities shall be designed in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the Access Management Regulations (24VAC30-73).

3. In instances where the local governing body has determined, through adoption of a parking ordinance or other similar ordinance, that lesser parking requirements are sufficient for certain classes of development, such lesser requirements shall govern.

4. The department shall not prohibit roadway design that allows for the provision of on-street parking on any roadway with a functional classification of collector or local where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.

F. Cul-de-sacs and turnarounds. An adequate turnaround facility shall be provided at the end of each cul-de-sac to permit the safe and convenient maneuvering by service vehicles. Various configurations of turnarounds are illustrated in the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)); however, alternative configurations may be approved by the district administrator's designee. Additional right-of-way shall be provided as required by the design of the turnaround. Normally, any nontraveled way areas within the turnaround, such as an island, shall be included in the dedicated right-of-way of the facility unless the department and the locality are able to reach an agreement for the maintenance of such nontraveled way areas. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the provision of stormwater management facilities in the nontraveled way areas of a cul-de-sac, provided the requirements of subsection L of this section are met.

For circular turnarounds, a well-defined, identifiable street segment, equal to the normal lot width along the intersected street that serves the cul-de-sac, or 50 feet, whichever is greater, shall extend from the intersected street to the turning area.

G. Curb and gutter. For the purpose of these requirements, the use of curb and gutter is an acceptable roadway design, rather than a requirement. However, when used, curb and gutter shall be designed in accordance with the Road Design Manual and the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)) and only one curb and gutter design may be used along the length of a street.

1. Driveway entrance requirements. Without regard to the curb design used, the curb shall incorporate a driveway entrance apron, as illustrated in the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)), to provide a smooth transition from the gutter invert or roadway surface onto the driveway.

2. Curb ramps. All streets that incorporate accessible routes for pedestrian use shall, without regard to the curb design used, include curb ramps at intersections for use by persons with disabilities and shall incorporate other applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC § 12101 et seq.).

H. Private entrances. All private entrances shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)).

I. Pedestrian, bicycle, and shared use path facilities. The Commonwealth Transportation Board's "Policy for Integrating Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations," 2004 emphasizes accommodating pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Any street proposed for VDOT acceptance shall accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic in accordance with the Commonwealth Transportation Board's policy and this chapter. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities should be generally uniform between intersections and included in the initial construction of the street, prior to VDOT acceptance.

1. Pedestrian accommodation requirements. Pedestrian accommodations shall be provided based upon density of development, the plans for or existence of public schools in the vicinity, the presence of existing pedestrian accommodations, and the operational nature of the fronting street. In all developments with pedestrian accommodations, such accommodations shall connect with existing pedestrian accommodations and allow for connection to future pedestrian accommodations to adjacent parcels. If multiple requirements apply to a street, the greater accommodation requirement shall govern. The district administrator's designee may waive or modify these requirements for the provision of pedestrian accommodations in situations when the accommodation exception provisions of the Commonwealth Transportation Board's policy are met.

a. Pedestrian accommodations shall be provided along both sides of the street or provisions made that provide equivalent pedestrian mobility for streets with an ADT over 400 that are located in a development with a median lot size of one-quarter acre or smaller or when the ADT for the street is over 8,000.

b. Pedestrian accommodations shall be provided along at least one side of the street or provisions made that provide equivalent pedestrian mobility for streets with an ADT over 400 that are located in a development with a median lot size between one-quarter acre and one-half acre or when the ADT for the street is between 2,000 and 8,000.

c. Pedestrian accommodations shall be provided along at least one side of the street or provisions made that provide equivalent pedestrian mobility within one-half street centerline mile of a public school.

d. When connecting to a stub street that has pedestrian accommodations, the new street shall also include pedestrian accommodations.

e. Pedestrian accommodations shall be provided along both sides of, or provisions made that provide equivalent pedestrian mobility along, streets functionally classified as collectors or arterials with three or more travel lanes. In no instance shall any sidewalk abut the curb or the edge of a collector or higher order street, unless the sidewalk is at least eight feet wide. In such instances tree wells shall be provided. In instances where it is necessary to retrofit streets with pedestrian accommodations to allow the streets to be accepted into the secondary system of state highways, the pedestrian accommodations less than eight feet wide may abut the curb or the edge of the street.

2. Maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities are eligible for VDOT acceptance and maintenance based on the criteria of this section. A copy of an agreement or other document showing the proposed maintenance responsibilities of pedestrian and bicycle facilities shall be provided to VDOT for any pedestrian accommodation outside of the VDOT right-of-way that is used to meet the accommodation requirements of this subsection.

a. Compliant facilities. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities, including shared-use paths as defined under § 46.2-100 of the Code of Virginia, shall be accepted as part of the street or network addition, unless otherwise requested by the governing body, provided they are located fully within the dedicated right-of-way of the street and they are constructed in accordance with applicable criteria and standards of the department.

(1) Sidewalk criteria. Sidewalks shall be constructed in accordance with the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)).

(2) Bicycle facility criteria. Bicycle facilities contiguous with the street shall be in accordance with the department's design and construction criteria set forth in the Road Design Manual, 2011.

(3) Shared use path criteria. Shared use paths shall be constructed in accordance with the Road Design Manual, 2011 and closely follow the vertical alignment of the roadway without meandering on and off the right-of-way.

b. Noncompliant sidewalk, bicycle, and shared use paths. Noncompliant sidewalk, bicycle, and shared use paths that fail to meet requirements of the department's standards for construction, alignment, or placement within the dedicated right-of-way of the street shall be deemed to be noncompliant and not qualify for maintenance unless a design waiver or exemption is granted by the department. Noncompliant sidewalks and shared use paths may be constructed of stabilizer convenient to the applicant. Noncompliant facilities may co-exist within the dedicated right-of-way of the street under a land use permit issued by the district administrator's designee to the local governing body responsible for having established the facility through its subdivision process or other development process.

Such permits will clearly specify the responsibility for maintenance of the facility and related activities to the extent the facility occupies the street's right-of-way. The permit applicant should be an entity that can be reasonably expected to have perpetual maintenance capability.

J. Bridge, drainage, and other grade separation structures. Bridges, drainage, and other grade separation structures shall be designed and constructed in accordance with all applicable department criteria and standards. The district administrator's designee may require special review of the plans and construction inspection.

The department will accept grade separation structures as part of new streets, provided the structure is a drainage structure or is intended to separate the movement of registered motor vehicles. In addition, the department will accept grade separation structures intended to separate pedestrians or bicyclists or any combination thereof from traffic using the roadway, provided:

1. The structure is available for unrestricted public use;

2. The structure is accessible to pedestrian accommodations situated along the street; and

3. The projected traffic volume of the street is (i) not less than 4,000 ADT or (ii) if the structure otherwise serves as part of the principal pedestrian access to a school or a mass transit facility including stops and stations and a peak hour traffic volume of 450 VPH or greater.

In all other instances, the grade separation structure shall be deemed to be a locally controlled grade separation structure within the right-of-way of the street, in which case the street will only be accepted as part of the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department after the local governing body and the department have executed an agreement acceptable to the department that (i) acknowledges the department has no responsibility or liability due to the presence of the structure and (ii) assures the burden and costs of inspection, maintenance, and future improvements to the structure are provided from sources other than those administered by the department.

In all cases, whether the structure is accepted as an integral part of the roadway for maintenance by the department or it remains a locally controlled structure, the lighting, safety, and security of those using such facilities shall remain a responsibility of local government.

K. Dams. The department will only consider accepting streets for maintenance that traverse dams when all of the following provisions are satisfied. For the purpose of this section, a roadway will be considered to traverse a dam if any part of the fill for the roadway and the fill for the dam overlap or if the area between the two embankments is filled in so that the downstream face of the dam is obscured or if a closed drainage facility from a dam extends under a roadway fill.

1. Agreements with the governing body. Except as exempt under subdivision 6 of this subsection, the governing body acknowledges by formal agreement the department's liability is limited to the maintenance of the roadway and that the department has no responsibility or liability due to the presence of the dam, the maintenance of which shall remain the responsibility of an owner, other than the department, as established by § 33.2-409 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Design review. An engineer licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall certify that the hydraulic and structural design of any dam, as described below, is in accordance with current national and state engineering practice and that all pertinent provisions of the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)) have been considered. Prior to approval of the roadway construction plans, the hydraulic and structural design of a proposed dam shall be reviewed by the department and meet the department's satisfaction if:

a. A roadway is considered to traverse a dam; or

b. A roadway is located below but sufficiently close to the dam that a catastrophic breach could endanger the roadway or the safety of those using the roadway.

3. Right-of-way requirements. The right-of-way of roads considered to occupy dams shall be recorded either as an easement for public road purposes or as a dedication specifically to the governing body. Right-of-way dedicated in the name of the Commonwealth or any of its agencies is not acceptable if it includes a dam, and roads through such right-of-way will not be accepted as a part of the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department.

4. Supplemental, alternative access. To be considered for VDOT maintenance, roadways that traverse a dam must be supplemented by an appropriate alternative roadway facility for public ingress or egress having suitable provisions that ensure perpetual maintenance.

5. Permits. All applicable federal and state permits associated with dams shall be secured and filed with the locality prior to VDOT's acceptance of any street that traverses a dam.

6. Dams exempt from agreements. The acceptance of roadways that traverse dams shall be exempt from the requirements for an agreement with the governing body, as required by subdivision 1 of this subsection, if all of the following is satisfied:

a. The dam is used to create a stormwater detention or retention facility;

b. The maximum depth of the water retained by the impoundment at its 100-year storm flood elevation is not greater than four feet; and

c. The surface area of the impoundment at full flood is not greater than two acres and is beyond the right-of-way dedicated to public use.

L. Roadway drainage.

1. Policy and procedures. All drainage facilities shall be designed in accordance with the department's Drainage Manual, 2002 and supplemental directives or the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)) as may be appropriate. All drainage computations supporting a proposed drainage design shall be submitted to the department for review as part of the documents necessary for the approval of a construction plan.

2. Stormwater management. Whereas the department considers matters regarding stormwater management associated with the construction of streets to be under the authority of the local governing body, decisions regarding stormwater management in the construction of streets are deferred to the locality. However, stormwater management, including the construction of detention or retention facilities, or both, is recognized as an available design alternative or BMP for water quantity, quality, or both. Where the developer is required by regulations promulgated by an agency or governmental subdivision other than the department or the developer chooses to use stormwater management facilities in the design of a subdivision or other development, the governing body shall, by formal agreement, and as a prerequisite for the transfer of jurisdiction over the street to the department, acknowledge that the department is not responsible for the operation, maintenance, retrofitting, or liability of the stormwater management facility or facilities associated with the subdivision or the development. Any retrofits required to comply with a TMDL WLA will be the responsibility of the locality. However, in the event the governing body has executed a comprehensive, localitywide agreement with the department addressing these matters, a specific agreement addressing stormwater management controls in the subdivision or development will not be required as a condition for street acceptance.

Stormwater management controls for VDOT projects are to be designed in accordance with the approved VDOT Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Program Standards and Specifications, 2010, as annually approved by the State Water Control Board, the Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations (9VAC25-840), and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Permit Regulation (9VAC25-870), and, if applicable, VDOT's MS4 Program Plan, 2008. While these controls may be necessary whenever a street maintained by the department is widened or relocated, the department does not require them in the development of new streets because such activity is regulated by the local governments. However, developers and counties may find these controls useful in managing land development activity.

Generally devices and treatments intended to mitigate the impact of stormwater shall be placed off of the right-of-way and shall be designed to prevent the backup of water against the roadbed. However, such devices and treatments may be placed within the right-of-way if the department and the local governing body have executed an agreement that (i) acknowledges the department has no responsibility or liability due to the presence of the devices or treatments, or both; (ii) assures the burden and costs of inspection, maintenance, VSMP permit requirements, TMDL WLA requirements, retrofitting or other future improvements to the devices and treatments, or other costs related to the placement of such devices or treatments within the right-of-way are provided from sources other than those administered by the department; (iii) a professional engineer licensed by the Commonwealth or the manufacturer as required by the department, certifies the construction of the facility to plans reviewed by the department; and (iv) design requirements of the facility are included in the department's Drainage Manual, 2002, the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Stormwater Management Handbook, First Edition, 1999, or supplemental directives.

Where development activity results in increased runoff to the extent that adjustment of an outfall facility is required, such adjustment shall be at the developer's expense and shall be contained within an appropriate easement.

The department is required to implement the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit for facilities located on its right-of-way. To comply with these requirements, the local governing body shall provide to the district administrator's designee all aspects of a proposed development's storm sewer system and associated stormwater management plan that are pertinent to the locality's or the department's MS4 permit. Additionally, the local governing body shall provide to the district administrator's designee an inventory of all outfalls to waters of the United States, physical interconnections with other stormwater systems, stormwater management devices, or both related to the project that are located within VDOT right-of-way as a condition of street acceptance in accordance with the VDOT MS4 Stormwater Outfall Inventory Manual, 2011. VDOT shall not accept a street for maintenance as part of the secondary system of state highways that are not in compliance with conditions of the pertinent MS4 permit and VDOT's MS4 Program Plan, 2008, as such conditions existed at the time of the relevant street construction plan's approval. VDOT shall not accept a street for maintenance if there is an illicit discharge to the system, as defined by 9VAC25-870-10 until the illicit discharge is eliminated.

3. Drainage easements.

a. An acceptable easement shall be provided from all drainage outfalls to a natural watercourse, as opposed to a swale.

b. The department normally accepts and maintains only that portion of a drainage system that falls within the limits of the dedicated right-of-way for a street. The department's responsibility to enter drainage easements outside of the dedicated right-of-way shall be limited to undertaking corrective measures to alleviate problems that may adversely affect the safe operation or integrity of the roadway.

c. In the event drainage to a natural watercourse is not accomplished or is interrupted, an acceptable agreement from the governing body may be considered as an alternative to providing an easement to a natural watercourse, provided the agreement acknowledges that the department is neither responsible nor liable for drainage from the roadway.

M. Other design considerations.

1. Guardrail. Guardrail shall be used when required by the district administrator's designee, consistent with the Road Design Manual, 2011. For placement considerations, see the Subdivision Street Design Guide (Appendix B (1) of the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT)).

2. Landscaping and erosion control. All disturbed areas within the dedicated right-of-way and easements of any street shall be restored with vegetation compatible with the surrounding area. Where there is visual evidence of erosion or siltation, acceptance of the street as part of the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department will be postponed until appropriate protective measures, in accordance with VDOT's construction practices, are taken. Except as otherwise approved by the district administrator's designee, planting of trees or shrubs on the right-of-way shall be in accordance with the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT) and its Appendix B (1) (the Subdivision Street Design Guide).

3. Lighting. Roadway, security, or pedestrian lighting, when required by the governing body or desired by the developer, shall be installed in accordance with the Road Design Manual, 2011 (VDOT) and its Appendix B (1) (the Subdivision Street Design Guide). However, VDOT shall not be responsible for the maintenance or replacement of lighting fixtures or the provision of power for lighting.

4. Railroad crossings.

a. Short-arm gates with flashing signals, flashing signals alone, or other protective devices as deemed appropriate by the department shall be provided at any at-grade crossing of an active railroad by a street.

b. Crossings of railroad right-of-way are subject to the requirements of the railroad. Streets to be accepted by the department for maintenance as part of the secondary system of state highways that cross railroad right-of-way will only be considered if the protective measures outlined under this section have been fully installed and an agreement between the railroad, the developer, and the local governing body has been executed. Prior to execution, such agreements shall be presented to the department for consideration in consultation with the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

5. Utilities. Local governments, the development community, and the utility community are encouraged to coordinate and consolidate their interests as part of the initial development plan.

a. Underground utilities. The department allows the placement of underground utilities within the dedicated right-of-way of streets, but normally restricts placement to areas outside of the travel lanes. However, if the governing body has established adequate requirements approved by the department for the design, location, and construction of underground utilities within the right-of-way of streets, including provisions that ensure that adequate testing and inspection is performed to minimize future settlement, those requirements shall become the department's requirements and govern provided those requirements exceed the department's requirements.

Manholes shall not be placed in sidewalk, multiuse trail, or shared use path facilities, within five feet of curb ramps or within driveway entrances.

When location of the utilities outside of the pavement area is not practical such as in high density developments incorporating the principles of new urbanism as described in § 15.2-2223.1 of the Code of Virginia, such installations:

(1) Are acceptable within the shoulders along the street or within the parking area.

(2) May be acceptable beneath the travel lanes of the street or alley when provisions are made to ensure adequate inspection and compaction tests and:

(a) Longitudinal installations and manholes are located outside of the normal travel lanes; or

(b) Longitudinal installations and manholes are placed in the center of a travel lane out of the wheel path.

b. Open-cutting of hard-surfaced roadways. The department usually prohibits the open-cutting of hard-surfaced roads except in extenuating circumstances. Therefore, all underground utilities within the right-of-way, as determined necessary by good engineering practice to serve the complete development of adjacent properties, shall be installed during the street's initial construction and prior to the application of its final pavement surface course. This shall include extensions of all necessary cross-street connections or service lines to an appropriate location beyond the pavement and preferably the right-of-way line.

In the event it is necessary to open the street pavement to work on utilities after the surface has been placed, additional compaction tests and paving as necessary to restore the integrity and appearance of the roadway may be required at the discretion of the district administrator's designee.

c. Cross-street conduits. To facilitate the placement of future underground utilities, cross-street conduits are encouraged, with placement of such conduits occurring on each street at intersections.

d. Aboveground utilities. All aboveground utilities shall be installed behind the sidewalk or as close as possible to the limits of the street's right-of-way but shall not encroach on the sidewalk, the shared use path, or any clear zone.

To assure the unencumbered dedication of the right-of-way for street additions, easements or other interests within the platted right-of-way shall be quitclaimed of any prior rights therein. In exchange, a permit may be issued by the department for a utility to occupy the area involved. This permit will be processed by the district administrator's designee upon acceptance of the street into the secondary system of state highways maintained by the department. No fee is required for permits so issued. However, the approval of the permit shall be contingent upon the utility's compliance with applicable provisions of the Land Use Permit Regulations (24VAC30-151).

Statutory Authority

§§ 33.2-210 and 33.2-334 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 15, eff. March 9, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 16, eff. May 11, 2011; Volume 28, Issue 08, eff. December 31, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 07, eff. December 31, 2014.

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