Another complete year at Complete Streets

This year flew by at the National Complete Streets Coalition, and we are excited to share some of our top highlights with you. We are happy to report that we are rapidly approaching 1,500 Complete Streets policies in U.S. states and territories. We worked with communities across the country, bringing people together, keeping the Complete Streets conversation moving forward, and strengthening our focus on equity. All this work is made possible thanks to the support of our Complete Streets partners nationwide.


We worked with 46 communities in 26 states.
400+ people attended our second national Complete Streets Conference, Intersections
A total of 1,472 Complete Streets policies have been adopted nationwide

We are bringing people together.

  • Through our second Consortium Series in Colorado, we brought together representatives from city, state, and regional transportation and public health agencies to talk about how they can better collaborate on Complete Streets. By working across jurisdictions, we were able to have some frank, productive conversations about the barriers to Complete Streets implementation in the Denver region and work toward identifying strategies to overcome them.
Participants in our workshop program with the Michiana Area Council of Governments
  • Over the span of a year, we worked with the Michiana Area Council of Governments in northern Indiana and their local jurisdictions to kickstart the region’s Complete Streets work by identifying strategies to communicate, measure, and implement both regional and local Complete Streets policy. As a result, multiple communities in the Michiana region are working together to pass strong Complete Streets policies.
  • The Safe Streets Academy brought together officials from Orlando, FL, South Bend, IN, and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in Kentucky to build skills in creative placemaking, tactical urbanism, community engagement, and safer street design. They put these skills to the test by implementing temporary safety demonstration projects in each city.

“Since our Safe Streets Academy demonstration project, it’s evolved this whole new process for how we approach capital improvements and gives us a chance to test designs out and make changes … We’re continuing to use that model to involve the community in what they want out of these particular areas.”

— Scott Thompson, Safe Streets Academy Alum, Kentucky

  • Building off the success of the inaugural Safe Streets Academy, this November we launched the Safe Streets, Smart Cities Academy. In the coming year, we’ll work with the cities of Huntsville, AL, Durham, NC, and Pittsburgh, PA to implement cutting-edge safety demonstration projects that address how emerging technologies and new mobility options create new challenges—and new opportunities—for cities to design safer streets.

Top: photos from Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets Bottom, left to right: Participants in the Colorado Consortium Series conduct an exercise about land use; Workshop notes from the Michiana Area Council of Governments; Residents of South Bend, IN paint a traffic circle as part of the Safe Streets Academy.

We are keeping the conversation going.

  • When LeBron James opened his iPromise school and provided bikes for all students, we were there to applaud his promotion of active transportation and advocate for safer infrastructure to go with it. Check out this  opinion piece written by NCSC Director, Emiko Atherton. The op-ed garnered attention and responses from Akron city government, and we are excited to see how the city addresses street infrastructure moving forward.
  • Passing a Complete Streets policy is only the first step for many communities; its the day-to-day decisions that transportation agencies and community leaders make in funding, planning, design, maintenance, and operations that ensure policies are implemented. That’s why we’ve continued to curate our monthly webinar series. In October, over 1,200 registrants joined us for a discussion about innovation in Complete Streets implementation. You can watch recordings of all our previous webinars on our blog.
  • We are looking forward to releasing the next edition of our biannual flagship report, Dangerous by Design, in January. This report is all about the unacceptable number of people struck and killed by cars while walking on our streets—and which states and localities are doing the worst job at keeping residents safe. Last year, 5,977 people died while walking in the United States. In our 2018 edition, we are moving beyond just the numbers to tell the stories or people and communities impacted by dangerous roads. Look out for the release of Dangerous by Design in January, 2019.

We are focusing on equity.

  • This year, we have continued to keep equity at the center of our work. In our internal and external practices, in our workshops and speeches across the country, and in our reports, we are holding ourselves and others to a higher standard. Equity can’t just be tacked on at the end; it can’t be an afterthought. It’s not a Complete Street (or complete community) without a focus on equity and the people that have been continually underrepresented and under resourced.
  • The National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America’s Arts & Culture team also partnered to produce Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets, a equity-centered conference focusing on how communities are integrating arts and culture to create streets that are safe for everyone and that better reflect the unique character of their communities. For an in-depth look at the topics we explored, check out this video trilogy.

We have been able to do all of this because of Complete Streets champions, advocates, and partners across the country. We are looking forward to continuing these partnerships and advancing Complete Streets together in 2019.

If you’d like to support our work, make a tax-deductible end of year gift!

Happy Holidays from the whole team,

Emiko, Heather, Mae, and Natasha



Complete Streets