A complete street is a road that is designed to be safe for drivers, bicyclists, transit vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Complete streets infrastructure includes design features that contribute to a safe, convenient, or comfortable travel experience for users.
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work.
Features of a Complete Street
Design features include but are not limited to: sidewalks, shared use paths, bicycle lanes, automobile lanes, paved shoulders, street trees and landscaping, planting strips, curbs, accessible curb ramps, bulbouts, crosswalks, refuge islands, pedestrian and traffic signals, including countdown and accessible signals, signage, street furniture, bicycle parking facilities, public transportation stops and facilities, traffic calming devices such as rotary circles, traffic humps, and surface treatments such as paving blocks, textured asphalt, and concrete, narrow vehicle lanes, and raised medians. 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 balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road.
Complete streets promote good health
When streets are designed only for cars, they deny people the opportunity to choose more active ways to get around, such as walking and biking. Even where sidewalks exist, large intersections and speeding traffic may make walking unpleasant or even unsafe – discouraging any non-motorized travel. Incomplete streets mean many people lack opportunities to be active as part of daily life.