The Ten Elements of a Complete Streets Policy

Complete Streets can be formally adopted in a variety of ways, including ordinances, resolutions, agency policies, plans, and design guides. The Coalition has established ten key elements that are part of a comprehensive Complete Streets policy and approach. When both developing and implementing Complete Streets, these ten elements should be considered.

Announcing the best Complete Streets policies of 2015

A call to action on the United States’ obesity epidemic, a challenge on safety from a federal cabinet secretary, new standards for transportation in Congress, and the first-ever perfect-scoring policy all made 2015 a banner year for the national movement for Complete Streets.

Local policies were a huge part of this momentum. In 2015, communities passed a total of 82 Complete Streets policies, and they are some of the strongest ever passed. In fact, in 2015 the city of Reading, PA adopted the first policy to ever score a perfect 100 in our analysis. 

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015, out today, highlights Complete Streets policies from across the country last year, including the 16 policies that were the nation’s best. Those communities were:

Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015

Each year, the Coalition reviews the policies adopted to date and assesses how well they meet the ten elements of a Complete Streets policy. The report highlights exemplary policy language and provides leaders at all levels of government with ideas for how to create strong Complete Streets policies.

New Senate bill would make America’s streets safer and more accessible

Kailua, HIStudents in Kailua, HI, walk along a street with Complete Streets features. A new bill in the Senate would require Complete Streets considerations for federal projects. Photo via Charlier Associates.

Whether you walk, bike, drive or take transit, Complete Streets policies help make sure you travel safely and conveniently, and a new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would encourage every community in the country to use these strategies.

On Friday, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), which would require all new federally-funded transportation projects use a Complete Streets approach to planning, designing and building roads to accommodate the safety and convenience of all users.

Top 10 of 2013: Over 550 communities are making streets safer and more convenient with Complete Streets policies

EOYACompleteStreets

This month, we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. First on the list? We’re celebrating the over 550 Complete Streets policies that have been enacted in the United States.

Complete Streets policies help create streets that are safe and convenient for everyone who uses them, and today over 550 communities across the country have enacted such policies. That’s a milestone worth celebrating.

In August the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, brought together transportation officials and national smart growth experts in Washington, DC, to celebrate the accomplishment.

Houston, TX, announces plans to adopt city-wide Complete Streets policy

A Complete Streets approach in Houston
Bagby Street in Houston, TX used a Complete Streets approach, which will now be a new standard for the city. Photo courtesy of the City of Houston.

The city of Houston, TX, cast its vote for safer, more vibrant streets yesterday when Mayor Annise Parker announced her intention to sign an executive order creating a city-wide Complete Streets policy.

The mayor’s Complete Streets and Transportation Plan will make Houston’s streets safer, more accessible and more convenient for motorists, public transit riders, pedestrians, people of all abilities and bicyclists. The new policy, detailed in a draft executive order from the mayor, will be implemented over time as improvements to existing roadways and redevelopment occur.

Join the advocates speaking out for the Safe Streets Act today

Today, hundreds of advocates are in Washington, DC to ask Congress to make a Complete Streets approach the national standard.

We’re on Capitol Hill this morning speaking out for the Safe Streets Act of 2013, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in June that would encourage communities to consider safety improvements in transportation project planning.

Join the advocates in Washington this morning: Tell your Representative you support the Safe Streets Act. 

Planning for safer streets saves lives. Safety improvements can often be made at little or no extra cost and without separate funding sources.

Perhaps most importantly, the bill does not trigger any new federal spending. 

Help make streets safer for everyone who uses them: Speak out for the Safe Streets Act today.

Despite the partisan gridlock Washington currently faces, making streets safer is an issue legislators on both sides of the aisle can get behind and the Safe Streets Act already has bipartisan support.

This is a bill that Congress can come together on: Speak out for the Safe Streets Act today.