Which Places Have the Best Complete Streets Policies?

Complete streets policy adoption nationwide. Image: ##http://www.completestreets.org/## National Complete Streets Coalition##

With adoptions in more than 200 localities and 23 states, complete streets policies have nearly doubled in number every year over the last three, according to a new report by the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Of course, all policies aren’t created equal, and the coalition separates the strongest — those that can serve as models for upcoming states and municipalities — from the less ambitious. Its top ten, representing cities, counties and states of varying sizes and geographic regions, appears after the jump.

These jurisdictions were recognized based on their adherence to a set of best practices. Outstanding policies were credited for aiming to create integrated networks for a variety of modes. They also received credit for demonstrating a clear intent to cover all roads. In addition, standouts included a set of “next steps” for implementing their vision, among other criteria.

“Recent polls show that voters’ top priority for infrastructure investments are safer streets for our communities and children,” writes Barbara McCann, coalition executive director. Policies recognized by the group were adopted by:

  • New Jersey Department of Transportation
  • Louisiana Department of Transportation
  • State of Minnesota
  • State of Connecticut
  • Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (Columbus)
  • Bloomington/Monroe County, IN Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Hennepin County, MN
  • Lee County, FL
  • Salt Lake County, UT
  • Crystal City, MO
  • Roanoke, VA
  • Missoula, MT
  • Herculaneum, MO
  • New Haven, CT
  • Tacoma, WA

The authors are careful to note that their rankings are based only on the quality of the policy, and not on successful implementation. The coalition will examine that issue in an upcoming report.

  • Transportation Policy Wonk

    Hi Angie – you can color Washington State orange. The State Leg has passed House Bill 1071 – Complete Streets Bill…
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1071&year=2011
    Ours is the best because it not only sets policy, but also creates a funding mechanism.

  • Stefanie

    @TPWonk: The great thing about Complete Streets is that it’s already funded! You don’t need new money to build Complete Streets: it’s about re-prioritizing projects and changing process so that every transportation dollar is spent to improve mobility and access for all users – people in cars, on bikes, and on foot.

  • Daniel

    Not Santa Monica, California?

  • After adoption needs to come review of effectiveness.

    The language of many Complete Streets policies requires designers/engineers/project managers to “consider” all transportation modes and street users, but doesn’t provide for a grievance process when some feel the “consideration” given is inadequate.

  • Stefanie

    Steven, in the report we briefly discuss our current project to assess implementation in communities adopting Complete Streets policies. We’re very excited about this project, and you’ll be hearing more about it later this year.

    Speaking in pure policy language terms, we advocate for (and reward) stronger language than “consider” and give additional weight to policy elements that help with accountability. It’s our hope that as policies are adopted or updated, such measures are included as a matter of course.

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