Complete streets are comfortable for all users including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and motorists. They are safe for people of all ages and abilities. Complete streets are shared public spaces and are one of the fundamental elements of great urban neighborhoods. They allow people to get to shops, to work, and to school. They provide for a high quality of life and for strong economic vitality.

In order to create these kinds of streets, public officials must balance competing demands for funding and for space. All streets will have a unique set of circumstances and opportunities, so they cannot all be the same. However, making a commitment to complete streets means making a commitment that on every new roadway project, the project team will balance all of these factors to the greatest extent possible.

While all streets will be different, a typical complete streets approach might include some combination of safe accessible sidewalks and crosswalks, bike lanes, and convenient transit stops. Not all of these elements will be right for every street, but these elements should always be considered and discussed. A complete streets approach means moving away from prioritizing vehicular access above all other modes of travel, and moving towards a process where we provide balanced facilities that create dynamic neighborhoods, downtowns, and cities.

To learn more about the complete streets concept, check out our Learning Resources page.

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