What are “Complete Streets”?

Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. People of all ages and abilities – from 8 years old to 80 years old – are able to safely move along and across streets in a community, regardless of how they are traveling. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations. GDOT’s Design Policy Manual includes a Complete Streets Design Policy for all state maintained roads, and the MATS 2040 LRTP update process, which is now underway, is the perfect time for MATS communities to consider adopting Complete Streets policies. Fundamentals Streets are an important part of our cities and towns. They allow children to get to school and parents to get to work. They bring together neighbors and draw visitors to neighborhood stores. And, they make up 70-90% of the public open space in our communities. These streets ought to be designed for everyone – whether young or old, on foot or on bicycle, in a car or in a bus – but too often they are designed only for speeding cars or creeping traffic jams. Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to “complete” the streets. States, cities, and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build roads that are safer, more accessible, and easier for everyone. In the process, they are creating better communities for people to live, play, work, and shop. What do Complete Streets policies do? By adopting a Complete Streets policy, a community directs its transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists – making our community a better place to live. The many types of Complete Streets designs There is no singular design prescription for Complete Streets; each street is unique and responds to its community context. Streets that are planned and designed using a Complete Streets approach may include: sidewalks, bicycle facilities (such as protected bike lanes in urban areas), special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent and safe crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals and ramps, curb extensions, narrower travel lanes, roundabouts, multimodal bridges, and more. A “complete” street in a rural area will look quite different from a “complete” street in a highly urban area, but both are designed to ensure safety and convenience for everyone. The presentation below demonstrates the variety of options in creating roads that are safe for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. http://iframe%20src=//www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/mPZT6LOhewveuc%20width=595%20height=485%20frameborder=0%20marginwidth=0%20marginheight=0%20scrolling=no%20style=border:1px%20solid%20#CCC;%20border-width:1px;%20margin-bottom:5px;%20max-width:%20100%;%20allowfullscreen%20/iframe%20div%20style=margin-bottom:5px%20strong%20a%20href=//www.slideshare.net/CompleteStreets/complete-streets-presentation%20title=Introduction%20to%20Complete%20Streets%20target=_blankIntroduction%20to%20Complete%20Streets/a%20/strong%20from%20stronga%20href=//www.slideshare.net/CompleteStreets%20target=_blankNational%20Complete%20Streets%20Coalition/a/strong%20/div For More Information   Source: National Complete Streets Coalition – a program of Smart Growth America downloaded on 6/21/16 – http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets/complete-streets-fundamentals/complete-streets-faq