Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015

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April 2016

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The National Complete Streets Coalition helps state and local agencies learn how to balance the needs of all users and develop and implement effective policies and procedures to routinely create networks of Complete Streets. Learn more about our Complete Streets Workshops ››

Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015

The U.S. Surgeon General and Secretary of Transportation both spoke out for more Complete Streets last year. Congress passed a transportation bill that included Complete Streets language for the first time ever. And the City of Reading, PA adopted the first policy to ever score a perfect 100 in our analysis. Together, these all helped set a new high water mark for the national movement for safer streets across the country.
A Complete Streets approach creates an integrated transportation system that supports safe travel for people of all ages and abilities. This approach redefines what a transportation network looks like, which goals a public agency sets out to meet, and how communities prioritize their transportation spending. A Complete Streets policy is one of the best ways to set this approach into motion.
In 2015, communities passed a total of 82 Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions, agency policies, and planning and design documents establish a process for selecting, funding, planning, designing, and building transportation projects that allow safe access for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.
Nationwide, a total of 899 Complete Streets policies are now in place, in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Thirty-two state governments or agencies, 76 regional organizations, and 663 individual municipalities have all adopted such policies to create safer, multimodal transportation networks.
Each year, the National Complete Streets Coalition analyzes newly passed Complete Streets policies. The Coalition examines and scores policy language using the guidelines laid out in our ideal policy elements. Ideal policies state a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs, and establish a flexible project delivery approach. Different types of policy statements are included in the Coalition’s review, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, internal policies, and policies adopted by an elected board.
The Coalition ranks new Complete Streets policies to celebrate the people who developed exceptional policy language and to provide leaders at all levels of government with examples of strong Complete Streets policies.
Sixteen agencies led the nation in creating and adopting comprehensive Complete Streets policies in 2015. These policies are a model for communities across the country. They are:
1. Reading, PA
2. West Hartford, CT
3. Park Forest, IL (tie)
South Bend, IN (tie)
Longmeadow, MA (tie)
4. Weymouth, MA
5. Omaha, NE
6. Vincennes, IN
7. Ashland, MA (tie)
Natick, MA (tie)
Norwell, MA (tie)
8. Little Rock, AR
9. Framingman, MA (tie)
Lynn, MA (tie)
Portage, MI (tie)
10. Battle Ground, WA
We congratulate these communities for their work making streets safer, and for showing other communities across the country just how strong and effective Complete Streets policies can be.