Policy Evaluation Tool FAQs

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.


Q: Is this tool free to use?
Yes, it is.

Q: What resources/skills do I need to use the tool?
To use the policy evaluation tool, you do not need any special technical skills. All you need is access to the full policy language of the draft or passed policy that you are trying to evaluate (you will be required to upload that). We do recommend that you familiarize yourself with the policy language as well as the 10 Element Policy Framework before using the tool.

Q: I have a Complete Streets resolution, can I still use this tool?
The Coalition recognizes several types of statements in our definition of a Complete Streets policy, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, internal policies, policies adopted by an elected board, and tax ordinances.

  • Legislation includes bills that require the needs of all users to be addressed in transportation projects by changing city, county, or state codes or statutes.
  • Resolutions are non-binding official statements from a jurisdiction’s legislative branch and executive orders are high-level directives issued by a mayor or governor.
  • Internal policies are adopted by the leadership of a jurisdiction’s transportation agency, office, or department without action from an elected body.
  • Policies adopted by an elected board are statements, usually developed by a group of stakeholders, and are approved by an elected governing body via an adopting resolution or ordinance.
  • Tax ordinances are legislative or voter-approved ordinances that fund Complete Streets projects.

In addition, some communities integrate Complete Streets language within comprehensive or transportation master plans, or through updates to street design guidance and standards. These documents are *not applicable* for our analysis.

Q: I want to evaluate my draft policy, how many times can I use the tool?
There is no limit to the number of times you can use the tool. In fact, we recommend that you use the tool to evaluate and re-evaluate your draft policy revisions to make it a strong document.

Q: Will the data input in the tool be shared anywhere publicly?
No. Smart Growth America will not share any individual evaluation scores or draft policy documents uploaded anywhere publicly without prior notice to the respective evaluators. We will use the information provided to track national trends, identify new resources to develop, and report on the state of Complete Streets policies.

Q: What Complete Streets policies can I evaluate using this tool?
You can evaluate local, MPO, or state-level policies. Complete Streets language within comprehensive or transportation master plans, or through updates to street design guidance and standards are *not eligible* for our analysis.

Q: Who should use this tool?
Policy-makers currently drafting or working to pass a Complete Streets policy should use this tool to help guide their process. Additionally, advocates and other champions can use this tool to make the case for stronger policy language with specific examples provided by Smart Growth America.


Use the Complete Streets Policy Evaluation Tool


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