Make Complete Streets the Default Approach
A key way to encourage consistent prioritization of the safety of all users is to make funding and designing Complete Streets the easiest option when designing streets;1 If safety for all users can be incorporated into definitions, guidance, grant awards, and review processes, it would be easier for agencies to take action. A full transition to a Complete Streets design model requires leadership; identification and elimination of barriers; and development of new policies, rules, and procedures to prioritize safety. These include data collection and analysis, planning, project selection, design manuals, approval procedures, and performance measures.
According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, in the last 20 years hundreds of jurisdictions across the United States have adopted Complete Streets policies directing their transportation agencies to routinely plan, design, build, and operate safe street networks for everyone.2 Two-thirds of the States and many jurisdictions;3 have gone on to create Complete Streets design models which transform their project-development processes to prioritize safety. Many jurisdictions are 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.
This page provides resources--including training, tools, and examples (some prepared by outside entities and posted on external websites)--on how to transition to the Complete Streets design model. Check back frequently for new resources.
Complete streets projects and activities may be eligible to use Federal funds from several programs, such as:
- Federal-aid Programs and Special Funding – Provides links to information on specific funding programs and related program guidance.
- Complete streets Waiver
- Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program.
- Highway Safety Improvement Program.
- Surface Transportation Block Grant Program.
- Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside.
- Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Flex Funding
Also, check the list at Pedestrian and Bicycle Funding Opportunities.
- Moving to a Complete Streets Design Model (Report to Congress) – The Report identifies recent FHWA rules, guidance, and resources that affect safety and access for the users of all surface transportation modes, as well as ongoing opportunities and challenges as FHWA moves ahead with its effort to implement a Complete Streets design model. Explore dozens of key resources and references.
- The Elements of a Complete Streets Policy – Provides explanations of the ten elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy.
- Context-Sensitive Design – Provides information on a collaborative, interdisciplinary decision-making process and design approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting.
- Road to Zero: A Plan to Eliminate Roadway Deaths – Provides resources on Road to Zero from the National Safety Council.
- FHWA Safe System Approach – Provides multiple resources on the Safe System Approach.
- Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Complete Streets – Provides multiple resources on active transportation, context sensitive design, and additional Complete Streets elements.
1 Federal Highway Administration. “Moving to a Complete Streets Design Model: A Report to Congress on Opportunities and Challenges.” Accessed June 2022.
2 Smart Growth America. “Complete Streets policies nationwide.” Accessed October 2021.
3 Jordan, Samuel. “Complete Streets: Promise and Proof” Journal of Urban Planning and Development Vol. 147, Issuhttps://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000684 e 2 (June 2021).
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