Thoroughfare Standards Update

The City of Plano is updating its Thoroughfare Standards Rules and Regulations, soon to be renamed the Street Design Standards.  These updates will incorporate industry best practices, context-sensitive street design, improve user-friendliness, and implement transportation recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.   These Standards are a professional design resource for the City, the professional development community, and any individuals or groups involved in the planning and design of the City’s street network, public and private. 

The City of Plano Street Design Standards (Standards) provide the design requirements for transportation infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, traffic calming, and other appurtenances. The design requirements outlined in these Standards are minimum requirements for design scenarios that frequently arise in transportation planning, traffic operations, street design, and site development. The Standards provide standardized traffic and transportation design requirements for existing and future site development in the City, including technical requirements for Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA). In addition, these Standards provide design requirements for street elements called for in the Thoroughfare Plan Map and Bicycle Transportation Plan Map of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Summary of MAJOR Changes

Downtown StreetS

The majority of streets in Downtown Plano were originally constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, long before city-wide standards were put in place.   Updates to the Thoroughfare Standards will include custom street design standards that are tailored to Downtown's unique charm and character.  This will include wider sidewalks, on-street parking, street trees, and other pedestrian and bicycle amenities.  A new Downtown Street inset map will be added to the Thoroughfare Plan Map in the Comprehensive Plan 2021.

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Updates to the Thoroughfare Standards will include guidance and direction on multimodal street design, including sidewalks, bicycle and micromobility facilities, curbside management, and transit facilities.


Context-sensitive Street Design 

The Future Land Use Dashboards include goals and recommendations for transportation and street design.  Updates to the Street Design Standards will incorporate this direction by introducing new context-sensitive design standards for four land use contexts: Neighborhoods, Corners, Commercial, and Mixed-Use.  

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Consolidating Design Standards

Design standards for streets in the downtown and mixed-use areas, including right-of-way width, number of lanes, street tree requirements, and more  are currently specific to certain zoning districts, such as the Downtown/Business Government (BG), Residential Community Design (RCD), and Urban Mixed-Use (UMU) districts.  Additionally, some standards for streets and alleys are located in the Subdivision Ordinance.  With this update, all street design standards will be relocated into the Street Design Standards.

  • Zoning Ordinance Changes (coming soon!)
  • Subdivision Ordinance Changes (coming soon!)


The updates will update procedures for traffic studies prepared as part of the zoning and development process, including Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA).  Additionally, procedures for the placement of neighborhood traffic calming devices are included in the updated standards.

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Mews Streets, Paseos, & Shared Streets

Related updates will be made to the Subdivision Ordinance to regulate the applicability of mews streets, paseos, and shared streets.  Changes including limiting the use of mews to small subdivisions and where houses are designed to front on common open spaces, such as a paseo.  


Standards and Best Practices

The Thoroughfare Standards were last updated in 2009.  Proposed updates will modernize standards with national best practices.  Sections will include intersections, medians, turn lanes, street lighting, right-of-way visibility, driveways, and more.

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