Every local community, region, and state has a process by which they choose which transportation projects to fund and build. A strong Complete Streets policy changes that process by adding new or updated criteria that give extra weight to projects that advance Complete Streets and improve the network.
Project Selection Criteria
State DOTs often use guidance and a project selection process that leads to overbuilt projects that don’t fit their context and are ill tailored to the needs of the community. To build better projects that fit in the areas they serve, state DOTs need to acknowledge land use and context and update their project selection process to focus on outcomes.
Smart Growth America and the Governors’ Institute on Community Design worked with state departments of transportation to question and assess their underlying assumptions that lead many states to over built, expensive highway solutions for every transportation problem. The following memos are the outcome of that work, which delve into seven common areas of reform that we identified.
To most effectively implement them, a good Complete Streets policy must be fully integrated into the process for selecting transportation projects. And that process should focus on active transportation projects with a priority on underserved communities in order to reduce health, safety, and economic disparities.