Taking Action on Complete Streets: Implementing processes for safe, multimodal streets

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July 2013

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Taking Action on Complete Streets: Implementing processes for safe, multimodal streets

The National Complete Streets Coalition views a Complete Streets initiative as having four distinct phases: policy adoption, agency institutionalization, better projects, and larger societal outcomes. This resource focuses on the second step in this process, the “agency institutionalization” phase of Complete Streets. It explores how transportation agencies can integrate Complete Streets into daily practice. This leads to changes in the street environment and eventually to better societal outcomes.

Five kinds of activities need to take place in order to reorient a transportation agency’s work to fully and consistently consider the safety of all users. Each of the five kinds of activities is explored in detail in this report. Case studies are interspersed within the text, offering in-depth insights into the changes these communities are making. In many of the case study communities, public health agencies have played an important role in convening and educating stakeholders, often with the support of federal grant funding. It is important to note that each funding source has different requirements about the appropriate use of those funds and agencies must ensure that they are adhering to all rules and regulations of their funding source when pursuing these activities.

A listing of additional resources, including documents used in agencies across the country in achieving their Complete Streets goals, is provided for each of the five subject areas. Although this report addresses those activities in a particular order, there is no one clear path that communities must take to be successful. Some may happen concurrently with other activities and over time, while others may become the sole focus of an agency for some phase of implementation.

Transportation planners, engineers, and department officials will find this report helpful in considering how to implement a Complete Streets approach. Other stakeholders with knowledge of transportation issues, such as community leaders and public health agencies, can reference this document in assisting the transportation professionals successfully integrate the needs of all users into every decision-making.