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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

In neighborhoods across the country, residents and community leaders are increasingly looking to their transportation departments for more than streets designed for just automobile traffic. They are asking for streets that are safer for people walking and bicycling, better fit the local neighborhood, reflect resident cultures, and make visiting local shops and restaurants more attractive.

In 2014, more then 70 jurisdictions adopted 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 to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.

Nationwide, a total of 712 jurisdictions have Complete Streets policies in place, including 30 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Fifty-eight regional planning organizations, 58 counties, and 564 municipalities in 48 states have adopted such policies to create safer, multimodal transportation networks.

The National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores Complete Streets policies each year, comparing adopted policy language to the ideal. Ideal policies refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs, and establish a flexible project delivery approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome. Different types of policy statements are included in this examination, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, departmental policies, and policies adopted by an elected board.