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What are Complete Streets?
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and managed to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.Learn more about the basics
Where are Complete Streets?
Over 1,600 Complete Streets policies have been passed in the United States, including those adopted by 35 state governments, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.Where are Complete Streets policies?
Distance learning: in-depth education about Complete Streets
As part of the Creating Complete Streets Distance Learning Series, we offer two introductory-level modules that take less than one hour to complete and are eligible for AICP credit. Modules can be purchased for $69 each or $95 for both.Learn more and enroll
Module 1: Introduction to Designing for Active Transportation
Module 2: Integrating Land Use into Complete Streets
Original research and reporting
Learn more about Complete Streets by reading these core, foundational reports from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition:
Safer Streets, Stronger Economies
What do communities get for their investments in Complete Streets? In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared to conventional transportation projects, these projects were remarkably affordable and were an inexpensive way to achieve transportation goals.
In this tight budget climate, transportation staff and elected leaders want to get the most out of every dollar. This research shows how Complete Streets projects can help them do just that. Read more >>>
Dangerous by Design
It has been more than a decade since the first edition of Dangerous by Design, and the problem of pedestrian safety has only gotten worse. Dangerous by Design 2021 takes a closer look at this alarming epidemic. What this report shows is that our streets aren’t getting safer. Even more so, while traffic deaths impact every community in the United States, states and metropolitan areas across the southern continental United States, older adults, people of color, and people walking in low-income communities bear a higher share of this harm. This report is accompanied by an interactive maps of pedestrian fatalities from the period in the report as well as sortable tables of all state- and metro-level data. Read more >>>
Best Complete Streets Policies
Our most recent annual evaluation of Complete Streets policies (those passed in 2018) was the first to use a new and improved framework that elevates both equity and implementation to grade policies and puts a new emphasis on translating policy into practice and making sure that everyone—and particularly people in low-income areas and communities of color—will benefit. Read more >>>
I know the basics—let’s take it to the next level
Toolkits: Perform a walk audit
1) What’s a walk audit?
A walk audit is an incredibly powerful way to assess the walkability of the sidewalks and streets in their community. Watch this video to get a basic introduction to the concept of walk audits
2) How to do a walk audit of your own:
This full kit from our friends at AARP provides step-by-step instructions and checklists for examining intersections, sidewalks, driver behavior, public safety and more. Once completed the documented results can be shared with elected officials and other local leaders when advocating for such safe streets features as sidewalks, crosswalks and properly timed traffic lights.View the AARP walk audit kit
More complex research from SGA and NCSC
Take the next step with more sophisticated research and reports from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition:
Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities
Places that have made biking and walking from place to place a safe, convenient, and enticing choice have produced positive impacts on businesses, jobs, and revenue. When it’s safer and more convenient for people to walk or bicycle as part of their regular routine, more people get the amount of physical activity that science proves they need to reduce their risk of certain chronic diseases. How have regions successfully brought these projects to fruition? How are they integrating them into the processes of choosing what to build? How are they upending perhaps decades of radically different priorities to make these types of projects the norm? This guidebook from our Transportation for America program tells these stories in detail. Read more >>>
Hundreds of companies across the United States are moving to and investing in walkable downtown locations. As job migration shifts towards cities and as commercial real estate values climb in these places, a vanguard of American companies are building and expanding in walkable downtown neighborhoods. Why are companies choosing these places? What are the competitive advantages they see in these locations? And what features do they look for when choosing a new location?
Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown examines the characteristics, motives, and preferences of companies that have either relocated, opened new offices, or expanded in walkable downtowns between 2010 and 2015. Read more >>>
Foot Traffic Ahead
Foot Traffic Ahead 2019 ranks the 30 largest metros in the United States based on the percentage of office, retail and rental multi-family space each metro has in their walkable urban places (WalkUPs).
This report powerfully illustrates the price premiums investors and buyers are willing to pay to live or work in walkable, transit-connected neighborhoods—and why we urgently need to build more of them.
Read recent posts related to the Champions Institute
Applications are open for the third round of the Active People, Healthy NationSM Champions Institute, an opportunity for local elected officials to gain the knowledge needed to effectively advocate for safer and more Complete Streets hosted by Smart Growth America (SGA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity.
Graduates of Smart Growth America’s inaugural Active People, Healthy Nation Champions Institute are using what they learned to advocate for Complete Streets and safer activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations across the country. After completing the institute in 2020, Councilmember Sallie Alcorn from Houston, TX, Mayor Robyn Tannehill from Oxford, MS, and Mayor Jerry Martin from Alma, … Continued