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.
- 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 setting, and lighting.
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Resources – Includes projects, programs, tools, and materials for use in reducing pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.
- Geometric Design policy and guidance – Provides geometric design guidance for roadways on the National Highway System.
- Performance-Based Practical Design – Provides guidance related to the performance-based design of roadways.
- Noteworthy Speed Management Practices (report) – Summarizes eight case studies which highlight noteworthy practices over a range of speed management issues.
- 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.
- Designing for Pedestrian Safety (course) – Helps agencies address pedestrian safety issues through design and engineering solutions.
- 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.
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 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.
- 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.
- Improved Nighttime Lighting: Fremont, California implemented streetlight upgrades that resulted in a measurable reduction in fatal and serious crashes.
- Making Complete Streets: Portland, Connecticut is a small community of 10,000 residents that experienced safety issues related to speeding and unsafe conditions for walking and cycling. A community organization collaborated with Public Works staff and the town engineer to plan, design, and construct safety improvements that have resulted in greater walking and bicycling and lower vehicle speeds.
- 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.
- Complete Streets Redesign: Tampa, Florida systematically identified corridors that would benefit from safety improvements for all users and implemented a range of countermeasures that resulted in a measurable decrease in fatal and serious injury crashes along the corridor.
- 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.
- 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.
The contents of this website do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This website is intended only to provide information to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. The U.S. Government does not endorse outside entities, products, or manufacturers. Links to content created by outside entities are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect the views of FHWA or the U.S. Department of Transportation or a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one entity or product. External sites are not subject to Federal information quality, privacy, security, or accessibility guidelines. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained on this website or the external sites.