WSDOT Shared-Use Path Design Manual

A Washington State DOT guide to designing shared-use paths.

by Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

Chehalis Western Trail south of Olympia, WA


WSDOT shared-use path design manual


Chapter 1515 - Shared Use Paths - Design Manual M 22-01

Shared-use paths are designed for both transportation and recreation purposes and are used by pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other users. Some common locations for shared-use paths are along rivers, streams, ocean beachfronts, canals, utility rights of way, and abandoned railroad rights of way; within college campuses; and within and between parks as well as within existing roadway corridors. A common application is to use shared-use paths to close gaps in bicycle networks. There might also be situations where such facilities can be provided as part of planned developments. Where a shared-use path is designed to parallel a roadway, provide a separation between the path and the vehicular traveled way in accordance with this chapter.

Published September 01, 2019

About the Author


We provide a wide variety of programs and services to keep people and businesses moving by operating and improving the state transportation systems vital to our taxpayers and communities.

More Articles in this Category

FAQ: What is the definition of a trail?

Defining a trail corridor in law, policy, and planning.

Design for Understanding: Protecting Trail Users in the Time of Covid-19

Don Meeker, president of Terrabilt, reflects on trails as a critical sanctuary during COVID-19, and provides guidance on signage to keep everyone on trails safe. Terrabilt will also provide the production artwork for their COVID-19 trail sign for free.

Mountain Bike Trails Concept Plan for Moose River Plains Wild Forest

IMBA Trail Solutions visited the Moose River Plains Wild Forest for one week in October of 2013 to conduct field research, meet with stakeholders, and to begin the process of developing a conceptual design for mountain bike use in the area. All of the designs presented in this report are conceptual in nature and have not been completely field verified. Additional work will need to be done in the field to finalize the designs of reroutes and proposed trails described in this report.

Mountain Biking Comes to Town

Bike parks are not trails. They are managed similarly to city parks. They require a higher standard of care. They need to be professionally designed and constructed.