Complete streets and streetscape design initiatives

Program overview

  • 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.