Complete Streets local policy workbook


Publication Date

August 2012



Resource Type

More on Complete Streets

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 ››

Complete Streets local policy workbook

The term Complete Streets means much more than the physical changes to a community’s streets. Complete Streets means changing transportation planning, design, maintenance, and funding decisions. A Complete Streets policy ensures that, from the start, projects are planned and designed to meet the needs of every community member, regardless of their age, ability, or how they travel. Doing so allows a community to save money, accommodate more people, and create an environment where every resident can travel safely and conveniently.

Complete Streets can be achieved through a variety of policies: ordinances and resolutions; rewrites of design manuals; inclusion in comprehensive plans; internal policies developed by transportation agencies; executive orders from elected officials, such as Mayors or Governors; and policies developed by stakeholders from the community and agency staff that are formally adopted by an elected board of officials.

Rather than presenting a single model policy, we are offering a guide based on existing examples from around the country to help walk you through developing the right policy for your community. We strongly encourage you to think carefully about your community’s needs, vision, and goals. Draw from existing best practices, but be sure to tailor that language to best fit your community.

This workbook is designed to be used in conjunction with our latest edition of Complete Streets Policy Analysis, where you can find many examples of well-written existing policy language, often in your own region or state. Remember: good language is not specific to the type of policy written, and inspiration can come from many sources.

In this workbook, you will find explanations of the various forms a Complete Streets policy may take and the elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy. We describe each element of an ideal policy and provide sample language that may inspire your own efforts. We also ask probing questions to help you write the best policy for your community