Best Complete Streets Policies (2023)


The Best Complete Streets Policies 2023

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Click the cover or here to download the full report (pdf)

Since the beginning of the Complete Streets movement in the early 2000s, more than 1,700 Complete Streets policies have been adopted in jurisdictions of all sizes and contexts across the United States. Adopting Complete Streets policies is a crucial first step to reducing traffic violence, improving health equity, responding to the climate crisis, and rectifying a long history of inequitable transportation practices. This Best Complete Streets Policies report spotlights the communities that have taken that first step and outlines how they made it happen.

Read more about the trends in this year’s report and why far more progress is still urgently needed >>

But every Complete Streets policy is not created equally. To celebrate the strongest policies in the country and lift them up as worthy models for other communities to emulate, the National Complete Streets Coalition regularly evaluates and scores policies on a 100-point scale using a standardized set of ten elements. Based on that evaluation, the Coalition is proud to unveil this list of the 10 strongest Complete Streets policies passed between 2019 and 2022: 1

This year’s 10 strongest policies

Each numbered score in the table refers to the corresponding element in our policy framework found here:

JurisdictionStateYear passed#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10Total score
Howard County MD2019129108871013815100
City of RogersvilleMO202012910687101381598
City of El PasoTX202212910487101381596
City of JoplinMO202212910887101381095
City of TucsonAZ20191291048791381595
City of Rolling MeadowsIL20201291068710128688
City of RiversideMO202210910857101051286
Village of WellingtonFL20221251045710681380
City of New OrleansLA20201231065771141378
City of SacramentoCA2019129108877131378

See the tab for “stories of success” to read detailed case studies about four of these top jurisdictions.

Read more about the ten elements used to evaluate these policies

Watch the Best Complete Streets Policies webinar

On May 24th we hosted a webinar to walk through some of the Complete Streets trends covered in this new report, including some stories about four of the top-graded policies, featuring special guests from each community who were intimately involved in the development and implementation of those strong policies.

All policy scores

The National Complete Streets Coalition evaluates and scores policies on a 100-point scale using our policy framework’s standardized set of ten elements. This table encompasses all policies passed from 2019-2022 that were scored for this report, as well as a handful from 2018 that were not included in the last edition of this report (2019) for various reasons. Each numbered score in the table refers to the corresponding element in our policy framework found here:

JurisdictionStateYear passed#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10Total
Howard County MD2019129108871013815100
City of Rogersville MO202012910687101381598
City of El Paso TX202212910487101381596
City of Joplin MO202212910887101381095
City of Tucson AZ20191291048791381595
City of Rolling Meadows IL20201291068710128688
City of Riverside MO202210910857101051286
Village of Wellington FL20221251045710681380
City of New Orleans LA20201231065771141378
City of Sacramento CA2019129108877131378
City of Middleton WI20229986858115877
City of Westwood KS2020129104875108477
Borough of Eatontown NJ2019123868721181277
City of Fresno CA2019129104856105877
Athens-Clarke County GA202212910457784874
City of Evansville IN20211298487598373
City of Newport RI202112510287588772
Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government KY201912926874138372
City of Moses Lake WA202111972556108871
City of Kalamazoo MI20191258487855870
City of Indianapolis and Marion County IN202212484856130868
City of Burnsville MN202112910483568368
Metropolitan Transportation Commission CA202212910487168267
City of Tigard OR20191238657778467
Town of Holliston MA20201258487818465
Town of Provincetown MA20211208487875564
Town of Hopedale MA202111084878105364
Town of Richmond MA20181008487885664
Town of Northbridge MA20181108887855464
City of Boynton Beach FL2020123102571045563
City of Albuquerque NM2019994457668563
City of Minneapolis MN202112910085505963
Town of Orleans MA20201208487855663
City of Norwich CT20221132487888362
City of St. George UT20219910467258262
Town of Westborough MA20201218487865362
California Department of Transportation CA202112910285531661
Town of West Bridgewater MA20181008487855661
Town of Parker CO201812510481791461
Wyandotte County/Kansas City KS2020127104871000260
City of Bremerton WA20181278457790160
Macon-Bibb County GA2021121104372130759
Town of Bellingham MA20201108687815559
Town of Norfolk MA20191102687875559
City of Casselberry FL20191237287855259
Town of Foxborough MA20181108487835559
City of Atlanta GA20181278457860259
Minnesota Department of TransportationMN2022125100375411158
Town of Northborough MA20221108487395358
Township of Upper NJ201910386812130758
Town of Deerfield MA20191102487895458
Village of Carthage NY201912310487805158
Borough of Bradley Beach NJ202212186812110857
Town of Swansea MA20211108287845457
Town of Ashburnham MA20191102487885457
Town of Hingham MA20211108487375356
Town of Ware MA20201212487835656
City of Shawnee OK20201118287538356
City of Terrell TX20201238687271256
Town of Mattapoisett MA20181005487835656
Town of Fairhaven MA20211118487841355
Town of Milford MA20201032487851755
Town of Brewster MA20201208457841655
Town of Carver MA20191105457845655
Town of Plainville MA2019908457835655
Town of Northfield MA20191202457848555
Michiana Area Council of Governments IN201912910451190455
Town of Otis MA20209024878100654
Town of Princeton MA20201108687811454
Town of Bourne MA20201102487855454
Town of Middleborough MA2019902487865554
Franklin County NY20191208637590454
City of DuVall WA201891104576100254
Town of Dudley MA20201102487835553
Clark County WA2019917457715753
Town of East Bridgewater MA20191232487830653
Town of Pembroke MA20191102457855653
Town of Norwood MA20191102487835553
Town of Dracut MA20191108487841253
City of Birmingham AL20181178457061453
City of Amesbury MA2018908487841453
City of Providence RI20211108667290352
Town of Cohasset MA20191102487851652
Town of Hamilton MA20191101467388452
Town of Wellesley MA2018908487515552
Town of Blackstone MA20211108457515551
Township of Wilkins PA20191112457765351
Town of North Brookfield MA20181102457835651
City of Ferndale WA20181218437591151
Town of Andover MA20221108457335450
Village of Niles IL20201108437831550
Town of Falmouth MA2020902487835450
Town of Halifax MA2020902287855450
Town of Sutton MA20191108487551150
State of Washington & Washington State Department of Transportation WA20221274437530449
Town of Barnstable MA20211002457871549
Town of Paxton MA2021902487815549
Town of Grafton MA20211102457890349
Town of Sudbury MA2019908283155849
Town of Webster MA2018902457835649
City of Ames IA20181208457350549
Town of Southborough MA20201202487821448
Village of Mount Prospect IL20201152487450248
Town of Uxbridge MA20191102457625648
City of Methuen MA20191011487840548
Town of Pepperell MA20191102457815548
Town of East Longmeadow MA2019902487571548
Town of Westport MA20191102457555448
Borough of Collingswood NJ201911010467810148
Town of Burlington MA20181102457355648
Township of Lower Alloways Creek NJ20191104417670747
Town of Avon MA20201205257325647
Town of Athol MA2019902457835447
City of Cincinnati OH20221258251170546
Township of Holmdel NJ202112026833100246
Town of Culver IN20181102481591546
Town of Duxbury MA20211102487531445
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission OH202112110237521245
Town of Sterling MA2020902487551445
Town of Danvers MA20191102057851645
Town of Southbridge MA20221102457515444
City of Spokane Valley WA20211108431545344
Town of Holbrook MA20201102457811544
City of Bowie MD201911010257301544
Iowa Department of TransportationIA20181102437351844
City of East Wenatchee WA20181108435145344
Town of Franklin MA20211102287371243
Town of Sheffield MA2019902450825843
City of Revere MA20181002281825543
Frederick County MD202110110435410442
Town of North Andover MA20211202257351542
City of Bordentown NJ20191105457800141
Chester County PA202110086015100040
North Carolina Department of TransportationNC20191108457300240
City of Black Diamond WA20181105455510440
Lackawanna/Luzerne Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization PA20211205227240539
City of Oxford OH20191108407450039
City of San Jose CA20181108257410139
City of Worthington OH20191205437220136
Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions AK20181012461431436
City of Pensacola FL20211102631380135
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments OK20211001463470035
Town of Ripley NY2019502230675434
Frontier Metropolitian Planning Organization AR20191002233550434
City of Lawrence KS20181004251740134
Maine Department of TransportationME2019902435410533
Montgomery County PA20191014251450133
City of Merriam KS20221002257310232
Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization GA20191032433330132
City of Federal Way WA20181205635000132
City of Long Beach WA20181205435300032
South Carolina Department of Transportation SC2021803057300531
Town of Shutesbury MA2019902621540231
City of Mill Creek WA20181102437310031
City of Lacey WA20191101437300029
City of Mukilteo WA20181102235420029
City of Beckley WV2019902431410428
Borough of Rocky Hill NJ2019800457010328
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada NV20191032012361028
City of Delaware OH20201002431320126
Borough of Pompton Lakes NJ2019713407300126
Borough of Lansdowne PA2021708400500125
City of West Saint Paul MN20211108201300025
City of Port Angeles WA2018902411700125
City of Zillah WA2018902215500125
City of Glen Cove NY2021908410200024
Township of Franklin NJ2019510437300124
City of Connell WA2018902215500024
Town of Fayetteville WV2019902031310423
City of Monroe WA2018905215000123
Wisconsin Department of Transportation WI2021702207300122
Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho ID2021910021801022
Borough of Bernardsville NJ2020700453000322
Village of Coal City IL2020702250401122
Town of Hamden NY2018702430040222
City of Plainfield NJ2022800451200121
City of Gahanna OH20191108020000021
Town of Richfield NY2018902431010121
Borough of Bloomingdale NJ20181102230100120
City of Normandy Park WA2018902250010120
Town of Dickinson NY20191002007000019
City of Hinton WV2019502030310418
City Council of the City of Oak HillWV2019702010310418
Borough of Haworth NJ2019402600400218
Town of St. John WA2018815400000018
Town of BeIImont NY2019902050000117
Municipality of Princeton NJ2019932200000016
Borough of South Bound Brook NJ2018714400000016
Franklin County OH2019708000000015
Town of Gerry NY2019302035000114
City of Yelm WA2018501007000114
City of Dayton WA2018900210100114
San Juan County WA2018900400001014
Snohomish County WA2019900220000013
City of Stockton MO20191100000000011
Village of Falconer NY2019301060000010
Village of Sinclairville NY201850003000019
City of Dublin OH201850202000009
Township of Galloway NJ201870000000007
Town of Oneonta NY201870000000007
City of Stevens Point WI201860000000006
City of Claremore OK201940000000004
Township of Lawrence NJ201940000000004
City of Hammond IN201840000000004
North Carolina Capital Area Metropolitian Planning Organization NC202030000000003

You can also view & download a more comprehensive version of the above table which includes additional data on each policy, as well as all policies passed in 2018 that were scored for the last edition of this report released in 2019.

Stories of success

As the Complete Streets movement continues evolving, the Coalition aims to feature the strongest recent policies and help explain how local coalitions were formed to develop them, navigate the thorny process to get them adopted, and then put them into practice and start shaping projects. Be inspired by these four stories with lessons learned from some of the people involved in the highest-ranked policies in this year’s report.

City of Tucson, AZ | Community members are experts

The organizers of Tucson’s Complete Streets movement not only engaged community members but treated them as valued participants in the planning process with their own expertise to offer. This is in stark contrast to the typical planning approach, which treats planners and engineers as unimpeachable experts in contrast to community members. By countering this hierarchy, organizers made their policy not only better but likelier to pass. Read more >>

Howard County residents biking on a tree-lined trail in Columbia, MarylandHoward County, MD | Take your time—great policies are not created overnight

They require significant time and energy from a diverse group of stakeholders to ensure the policy reflects community needs. It took Howard County six years to develop and adopt this policy and the corresponding Design Manual. Although it may create a longer process, it’s critical to take the time to get all the details right and build policies that benefit as many community members as possible. Read more >>

Members of the Complete Streets Coalition against a wall in front of balloons after passage of the policyCity of El Paso, TX | Take advantage of every opportunity to share your message

It took the coalition in El Paso two years to get their policy drafted and passed. In that time, they created local news opportunities, collected stories from community members, conducted street audits, had renderings done to illustrate the concepts, held community engagement activities, and met one-on-one with city leaders to get their message out. These efforts were critical in gaining the support needed to get their policy passed. Read more >>

Parents, children, and dogs in the middle of a closed Joplin Main Street

City of Joplin, MO | There are resources out there to help you meet the moment

Creating the case for a strong Complete Streets policy required funding and knowledge. The Joplin team benefited from funding from the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services and technical assistance programs like Smart Growth America’s Complete Streets Consortium, where they tapped into broader advocacy networks and strengthened relationships with policymakers. These resources helped the committee draft a top-ranking policy and develop strategies to get it passed. Read more >>

Archives: (Past) Best Complete Streets Policies

The National Complete Streets Coalition has been evaluating policies for more than a decade. You can find the past editions of this report below. Important note: The Complete Streets policy framework changed at the end of 2017 and all reports before the 2018 evaluated policies using an outdated, previous framework.

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2018

**Policy framework was updated after the 2017 report. These previous reports should be considered helpful archive material, but the scoring and policy details are significantly out of date.**

The Best Complete Streets Initiative of 2017

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2016

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012

Stylized graphic showing animated people looking at a clipboard with a road extending in the background. Includes text that says "Complete Streets Policy Evaluation Tool"

The National Complete Streets Coalition evaluates and scores Complete Streets policies across the country using our Policy Framework. Now, advocates and policymakers can do the same, using our free and open-source tool to evaluate existing or drafted local, MPO, or state-level Complete Streets policies.

Not all Complete Streets policies are created equally, that’s why we felt it was important to put an easily accessible version of our scoring tool into the hands of advocates and policy-makers, to create improvements where possible in the policies that exist today, and to start strong for those in the process of being drafted.

Have questions? Check out our FAQs. Use the Complete Streets Policy Evaluation Tool


Evaluate your policy: The Coalition’s framework we use to score policies is open-source. Anyone can use our Complete Streets Policy Evaluation tool to evaluate existing policies or an in-progress one being drafted. Click here to use our tool to identify your policy’s strengths and weaknesses.

Thank you, Stantec: Graphic design for this report generously provided by Stantec, a Platinum member of the National Complete Streets Coalition and a member of our Steering Committee. Learn about our partners and find out more about joining the Coalition >>

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