Complete Streets is a public policy that enables municipalities to create safer, more accessible streets for all users.
Walkability, bikeability, and ease of access play a large role in making a community livable and appealing. If a town is easy to travel for people of all ages and abilities, residents can feel more connected to their community. Walkability and bikeability can also attract visitors, boosting tourism and economic development. Implementing a Complete Streets policy is one way that a municipality can improve walkability and bikability, making the community engaging and inviting.
What are Complete Streets?
Complete Streets are streets that accommodate all users, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders. Complete Streets can make a community more livable and appealing for residents of all ages and abilities by making it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, bicycle to work and use public transit. Municipalities or counties can choose to adopt Complete Streets policies to create safe and accessible transportation choices for residents.
What do Complete Streets look like?
Complete Streets is not a “one size fits all” approach to planning. Rather, it is a balanced approach that recognizes that cars are not the only way to travel. A complete street may include: sidewalks, bike lanes, wide paved shoulders, special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent and safe crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, narrower travel lanes, roundabouts, and more.
What do Complete Streets NOT look like?
Here are some examples of streets that are not complete, from AARP’s slideshow, Dangerously Incomplete Streets:
On this street, similar to many in Somerset County, the space available for pedestrians or cyclists ends, forcing them to enter the lane of traffic. To complete this street, extra space for pedestrians or cyclists could be added in the form of a sidewalk, a bike lane, or extra shoulder space.
The placement of this fire hydrant makes it impossible for those with wheelchairs, walkers or strollers to use this sidewalk. While the curb ramp does have a warning pad, it’s filled with debris.
While this aging agency has an ADA-compliant curb cut, there is no sidewalk connected to it. A sidewalk connecting the curb cut to the agency would help complete this street.
Does your community have incomplete streets? Contact RideWise at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-704-1011 to learn how we can assist with Complete Streets policies and implementation.