Implement Complete Streets Improvements
Complete Streets implementation aligns with the Safe System Approach (SSA), which anticipates human mistakes by designing and managing road infrastructure to keep the risk of a mistake low and to reduce injury severity if a crash does occur. FHWA promotes and advances infrastructure solutions to prevent common crash types (1) involving pedestrians and bicyclists, (2) at intersections, and (3) with vehicles departing the roadway. In all cases, reducing speed can help reduce crash severity. Practitioners implementing improvements may consider installing FHWA’s Proven Safety Countermeasures to create safe streets and enable mobility for all users. These countermeasures highlight key strategies for improving safety, including managing speeds, increasing attentiveness, reducing complexity of the design and operation of the transportation system, and separating users in time and space.
"Since 2015, the annual number of [roadway] fatalities has exceeded 35,000, with millions more injured – sometimes permanently – each year. Traffic crashes are a leading cause of death for teenagers in America, and disproportionately impact people who are Black, American Indian, and live in rural communities. We face a crisis on our roadways; it is both unacceptable and solvable.” – U.S. Department of Transportation National Roadway Safety Strategy
This page provides training, tools, and resources to support practitioners who are working to design, construct, operate, and maintain streets that are safe for all users. These resources, which include those prepared by outside entities and posted on external websites, highlight both process-level and project-level transformations that can advance Complete Streets implementation. Check back frequently for new resources.
- Complete Streets Transformations - Six Scenarios to Transform Arterials using a Complete Streets Implementation Strategy: This document provides examples of how to apply a Complete Streets Implementation Strategy to transform arterials that pose significant safety, connectivity, and equity challenges. The scenarios discussed in this document are intended to represent common non-controlled access arterials.
- Designing for Pedestrian Safety (course) – Helps agencies address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions.
- FTA: Manual on Pedestrian and Bicycle Connections to Transit (manual) – Provides a compendium of best practices to help transit and other transportation professionals improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and access to transit.
- Geometric Design Policy and Guidance: Provides geometric design guidance for roadways on the National Highway System.
- Improving Safety for Pedestrians and Bicyclists Accessing Transit – This guide provides agencies with a thorough look at pedestrian and bicyclist safety considerations in accessing and using transit.
- Noteworthy Speed Management Practices (report) – Summarizes eight case studies which highlight noteworthy practices over a range of speed management issues.
- Proven Safety Countermeasures (PSCs) – Includes 28 proven effective, but underutilized safety countermeasures. This site includes fact sheets and tools to assist practitioners with identifying potential safety improvements, including bicycle lanes, appropriate speed limit settings, and lighting.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety/Tools to Diagnose and Solve the Problem – Includes projects, programs, tools, and materials for use in reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.
- Performance-Based Practical Design – Provides guidance related to the performance-based design of roadways.
- Create Thriving, Activity-Friendly Communities – The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR)—a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—has created a growing collection of resources to help practitioners, decision-makers, and community members make the business case for improving the built environment such as implementing Complete Streets. These resources can be used to help communities use economic indicators to apply infrastructure investments in more equitable ways.
- New Jersey Complete Streets Design Guide: This one-page overview highlights a Complete Streets toolbox from New Jersey that draws on best practices from a variety of national design standards and guidelines, emphasizes the role of context and flexibility during the design process, and describes the benefits and applications of numerous design options.
Many States and localities are accomplishing the goal of routinely providing for the safety of all users through initiatives such as Safe Streets or Context-Sensitive Solutions; the name is less important than the intent of elevating safety. The purpose of these compiled case studies is to stimulate ideas for improving existing streets as part of developing a Complete Streets network, with an emphasis on developing safe and complete bicycle and pedestrian networks and access to public transportation. Unless otherwise noted, the case studies were compiled by FHWA.
- Complete Streets Construction Cost Case Study - 300 West Street Reconstruction Project, Salt Lake City, UT: This case study documents the construction costs for a 1.7-mi section of 300 West Street between 900 South Street and 2100 South Street. Prior to the Complete Streets project, the roadway had four to six 12-ft travel lanes; intermittent shoulders; and on-street, parallel parking on both sides of the roadway. A road diet decreased vehicle speeds and shortened the crossing distance for pedestrians and bicyclists. Raised sidewalks and bicycle lanes improved user visibility and safety.
- Complete Streets Construction Cost Case Study - Resurfacing and Reconstruction of MN 28, MN 29, and MN 104 in Glenwood, MN: This case study documents the construction costs for improving safety, mobility, and accessibility of three roadways in the Glenwood, MN city center. Prior to the Complete Streets project, intersections had no pedestrian or bicycle signals, missing crosswalks, and sidewalks with limited accessibility. gaps in the network of bicycle lanes and inadequate street lighting. A road diet reduced travel lanes from four to two lanes, plus a center turn lane provided space for raised one-way bicycle lanes on both sides and curb extension to improve pedestrian and bicycle mobility.
- Complete Streets Construction Cost Case Study - Resurfacing of South Lawrence Boulevard (State Road 21), Keystone Heights, FL: This case study documents the construction costs for improving State Road 21 traversing 6.4 miles through the Keystone Heights commercial district. Prior to the Complete Streets project, the city found added opportunities to address safety and mobility challenges. Improvements included curb extensions and ramps at crosswalks with signals and lighting, midblock crossings marked with flashing beacons, and school zone signs to improve pedestrian connectivity, walkability, visibility, and safety.
- Complete Streets Construction Cost Case Study - Village Center in the City of La Quinta, CA: This case study documents the construction costs for improving three roadways in La Quinta, California, to improve safety and mobility. Prior to the Complete Streets project, each roadway had four travel lanes and a raised center median. A road diet, reduced travel lanes from four to two, supported added bicycle lanes, and reduced vehicle speeds. New roundabouts with high-visibility crosswalks and refuge medians, midblock curb extensions with crosswalks, signals, and lighting supplied safer access to the village center and elementary school.
- Second Street Corridor (US 60) Complete Street and Road Diet Project - Frankfort, Kentucky: The City of Frankfort, Kentucky’s Second Street Corridor project is an example of how local governments and State departments of transportation (DOTs) can address safety needs during the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The City of Frankfort received Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds in 2018 to implement Complete Streets elements and a Road Diet along the Second Street Corridor (U.S. 60). The project’s objective was to create a safer travel experience for all users, boost economic development in a distressed neighborhood, and allow for placemaking opportunities.
- Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Planning Organization (Bismarck-Mandan MPO) East Main Avenue Corridor Study: The Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMMPO) is pursuing a Complete Streets approach to transportation infrastructure preservation and expansion with an emphasis on phased implementation. This new corridor study reviews transportation needs for people and freight; identifies ways to expand transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure; and pinpoints development opportunities along the East Main Avenue Corridor.
- The Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency’s Complete Streets Policy: The Kentuckiana Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) advances safety, accessibility, and comfort for all types of travel through its Complete Streets policy adopted in 2022. This case study provides an overview of KIPDA’s Complete Streets policy and how it influences planning and project development within a multi-state context.
- Pima Association of Governments (PAG) Complete Streets Planning Initiatives: The Pima Association of Governments (PAG) and its members take a community-focused approach to weaving Complete Streets concepts into their transportation planning efforts. PAG’s Complete Streets Resolution adopted in 2015 codified how to manage revenue generated from a half-cent tax to fund regional transportation projects that was approved by Pima County voters in 2006.
- Carson City Nevada’s Multi-faceted Approach to Complete Streets: By committing to long-term goals for increasing multimodal access and user safety, the City of Carson City, Nevada, and the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) developed a robust Complete Streets program within its downtown corridor focused on ways to secure funding, a complete streets performance monitoring program, and public outreach surveys and educational mailings.
- Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (Broward MPO) Complete Streets Initiative: Broward MPO is implementing activities to advance their Complete Streets priorities, particularly their Complete Streets Master Plan and innovative engagement efforts with stakeholders. Since beginning Complete Streets in 2012, investments in Complete Streets projects went from $0 to over $300 million.
- Complete Streets in Pittsburgh Are Vital for Improving Public Health: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Complete Streets policy centers safe and equitable access that improves mobility options for those who need it most first. It provides a path for a healthier, more economically inclusive city. This video from Smart Growth America demonstrates the connections.
- Transit Prioritization Tools and Practices: San Francisco, Boston, Denver, New York City, and Chicago are expanding on-street transit prioritization measures to improve transit reliability as discussed in this “Quick Bite” from the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
- Community-Wide Safety Improvements: Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin implemented a range of safety countermeasures and achieved measurable safety outcomes, including an estimated eight pedestrians or bicyclists spared from being struck by a vehicle.
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