Since the beginning of the Complete Streets movement in the early 2000s, more than 1,700 Complete Streets policies have been adopted in jurisdictions of all sizes and contexts across the United States. Adopting Complete Streets policies is a crucial first step to reducing traffic violence, improving health equity, responding to the climate crisis, and rectifying … Continued
Complete Streets Case Studies
In the face of continuing street safety, health, mobility, and other challenges, a diverse coalition of advocates worked with city planners and decision makers to strengthen and improve the way the City of El Paso designs and builds its streets.
Starting in the early 2010s, Tucson’s Living Streets Alliance organized to change the city’s uncomfortable, unsafe streets. After successfully advocating for pedestrian safety and walkability projects to be included in a county-wide bond package, the organization used their newfound momentum to pursue a Complete Streets policy.
The mid-sized city of Joplin is one of nine cities in Missouri to pass a top ranking Complete Streets policy in this report. To get there, a committee of city staff relied on support from every level—from a diverse set of local advocates, to statewide Complete Streets champions, to national technical assistance programs.
Howard County, Maryland carved out an identity of its own as it developed from a once largely rural county to a locus of suburban and urban growth between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. A groundswell of local advocacy for safer streets, paired with philanthropic support and county leadership, resulted in one of the strongest Complete Streets policies the Coalition has seen.
This package of three profiles of safety demonstration projects is one of the end products of the yearlong Washington Complete Streets Leadership Academy, conducted by our National Complete Streets Coalition.
With the use of a pop-up event that pulled in local stakeholders and a well thought-out engagement strategy, a small city with a history of successful quick-build Complete Streets projects gained a better understanding of community goals and created a strong case for funding a project to improve safety and health outcomes.
In a small but suburbanizing city on the extreme northern edge of metro Seattle, a temporary pedestrian crossing and median refuge helped improve safety, reduce speeds, educate residents and drivers about the importance of slower speeds and better walking access, and spark important conversations about the future of the community in Arlington, WA.
Airway Heights, WA deployed their safety demonstration project on a key north-south connector in the city that abuts the town’s only school and a public park, generating excitement in the community and creating new safe spaces for people to gather during the pandemic.
In the past three years, drivers struck and killed more people walking than in three decades. This happens in part because we continue to design our streets to prioritize moving cars—not people—as quickly as possible, creating a dangerous, high-speed environment for all people who use the street. To test out creative approaches to safer street design, the National Complete Streets Coalition launched the Safe Streets, Smart Cities Academy. We worked with three cities around the country to build skills in safer street design, creative placemaking, and community engagement, then helped the cities put these skills into practice. Through demonstration projects, the Cities of Durham, NC, Huntsville, AL, and Pittsburgh, PA transformed their streets and intersections into slower, safer places for people. Communities around the country can learn from the stories of these demonstration projects to test out low-cost ways to create safer streets.