Complete Streets is a public policy that enables municipalities to create safer, more accessible streets for all users.
Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, bicycle to work and use public transit. Municipalities or counties choose to adopt Complete Streets policies to create safe and accessible transportation choices for residents.
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 way to travel. A complete street may include: sidewalks, bike lanes (or 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.
Who benefits from Complete Streets?
- Municipalities – enhances livability and walkability
- Pedestrians – increases access and reduces traffic
- Bicyclists – reduces conflict with vehicles
- Transit riders – increases transit usage when stops are comfortable and accessible
- Children – play safely in a neighborhood
- Senior citizens – walk to nearby destinations and age in place
- Persons with disabilities – travel safely and independently
How can RideWise help?
- By presenting information at municipal meetings
- By providing Complete Streets policy examples and templates
- By assisting in drafting a Complete Streets policy
- By providing guidance and examples on best practices in Complete Streets design
- By helping municipalities implement Complete Streets
- By assisting municipalities with documentation for Sustainable Jersey.
How can Complete Streets help municipalities?
Somerville became the 119th municipality in New Jersey to pass a Complete Streets policy in September of 2015. Even before the policy was adopted, the municipality already had a decade of accomplishments to point to. These accomplishments have included a highly successful pedestrianized street, a road diet, and a revitalized downtown that has encouraged living, working, shopping and recreating in a compact walkable environment. Somerville understands that safe walking and bicycling are key to economic development, and Complete Streets are one way for the municipality to grow and prosper in the future.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center, part of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, has developed a series of case studies intended to highlight Complete Streets leaders in New Jersey. The purpose of the Somerville case study, funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is to highlight the Borough’s Complete Streets policy and implementation history.
Municipalities interested in learning more about Complete Streets are encouraged to contact RideWise at (908) 704-1011.