Complete streets and streetscape design initiatives
- Improvements to streets and roads that seek to make them more inclusive, accessible and friendly to a variety of users (pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and motorists)
- Specific elements often include expanded sidewalks, improved street crossings, and street lighting
- Aim to promote physical activity, pedestrian/cyclist safety, active transportation, environmental sustainability, sense of community, and neighborhood safety
Evidence and impacts
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
- Increased physical activity among residents
- Reduced incidence of obesity, lower BMI for children, and higher levels of walking
- Improved safety, reduced crime, and improved environmental sustainability
Best practices in implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Some successful interventions include features such as connected and expanded sidewalks, street crossing safety features, bicycle lanes, narrower streetscapes, tree canopy coverage, street lighting, and street furniture.
- Complete streets are more readily adopted when initiatives are well-defined, the public is well-informed about the initiative and its benefits, and support is established across diverse networks.
- Consider best practices and national standards such as those published by the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
- Partnerships between local transit agencies, developers, business owners, schools, and community-based organizations can contribute to public support for initiatives.
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps evidence overview of complete streets and streetscape design initiatives Smart Growth America. National Complete Streets Coalition American Association of State Highway Officials. (2012). Guide for the development of bicycle facilities National Association of City Transportation Officials. (n.d.). Urban bikeway design guide U.S. Department of Transportation. (2012). Manual on uniform traffic control devices. Montana Complete Streets toolkit (2012) Costs for pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure improvements: A resource for researchers, Engineers, planners, and the general public.