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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

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.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.

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). 

Disclaimer: 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 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.

Last updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2022