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Complete Streets: Guide to Answering the Costs Question

“We cannot afford to build Complete Streets.”
“Where will the money come from for all these extras? Our budget is tight as it is!”
“Gas taxes pay for our roads. What will fund Complete Streets?”
“How much more will it cost to build Complete Streets?”

Just about every Complete Streets supporter has heard these questions, often coming from department directors, transportation professionals, and officials responsible for keeping an eye on city budgets. We designed this guide to help respond to these questions.

This guide provides four overarching points to make in answering cost questions. The effectiveness of each depends upon the listener—some will resonate more with one audience than another. We give general guidance to the most appropriate audiences for each point, as well as general tips when discussing these topics in your community. We encourage you to use these examples as a starting point. Look for similar facts and stories from your own state or region and add those local examples to your presentations, fact sheets, and discussions.