-Narrower vehicle lane widths and traffic calming measures to foster a safe environment for pedestrians
-Improved and accessible crosswalks with appropriate signals
-Buffered pedestrian and bicycle lanes from vehicle traffic
How it Helps
There are several ideal elements that any Complete Streets policy or program should contain. These include careful design guidelines to ensure that best practices are being followed.1 The surrounding land use and community’s transportation needs should also be evaluated so that the intervention is designed for the right target population. There should also be a way to ensure that the benefits of the Complete Streets approach benefits all users, particularly the communities who have been underserved.
This strategy requires coordination between several entities like transit agencies, city planners and zoning boards, transportation engineers and planners. Intentional development between these groups can produce a number of human-friendly neighborhood design elements, including locating homes within a safe 400-meter distance of resources like bus stops and town centers.5
Incentives can be a very productive way to encourage the use of mixed land use and zoning to promote Complete Streets designs. Some examples of incentives that can be effective are tax abatements for companies who participate in mixed land use and zoning as well as increasing access to affordable housing that is in mixed land areas.6
1) Portland’s Complete Streets Policy
The city of Portland, Maine has adopted a Complete Streets Policy that ensures that all road users are considering when designing the surrounding transportation infrastructure. All planning and designing projects must include complete streets considerations when applying for funding.
2) California’s Complete Streets Act
In 2011, the California Complete Streets Act was passed so that roadways are designed so that all users can travel safely while receiving adequate physical activity.
3) Congress for New Urbanism Guidelines
Many urban design practitioners, including the Congress for New Urbanism, offer guidelines for pedestrian-friendly new development as well as retrofitting auto-centric existing development. In general, these include partnering with the community to identify its needs, aligning codes and ordinances, right-sizing streets to human scale, reducing parking, increasing the green space, and repurposing existing buildings.