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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Executive Summary

Communities across the country are making roads safer and more accessible for everyone who uses them—and these changes are happening on a larger scale than ever before.

In 2013, more than 80 communities adopted Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions and planning and design documents encourage and provide for the safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.

Nationwide, a total of 610 jurisdictions now have Complete Streets policies in place. Today, 27 states as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have Complete Streets policies. Fifty-one regional planning organizations, 48 counties and 482 municipalities in 48 states also have adopted such policies.

The National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores Complete Streets policies each year, comparing adopted policy language to ten ideal policy elements. Ideal policy elements refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs and establish a flexible approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome. Different types of policy statements are included in this examination, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, departmental policies and policies adopted by an elected board.

Fifteen agencies led the nation in creating comprehensive Complete Streets policies in 2013. These policies are a model for communities across the country. They are:

1. Littleton, MA
2. Peru, IN
3. Fort Lauderdale, FL
4. Auburn, ME (tie)
4. Lewiston, ME (tie)
6. Baltimore County, MD
7. Portsmouth, NH
8. Muscatine, IA
9. Piqua, OH
10. Oakland, CA
11. Hayward, CA (tie)
11. Livermore, CA (tie)
11. Massachusetts Department of Transportation (tie)
14. Cedar Falls, IA (tie)
14. Waterloo, IA (tie)

The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, supports communities as they develop, adopt and implement Complete Streets policies. Its staff and members are proud to have worked with and supported many of the communities discussed here. A ranking of top Complete Streets policies is intended to celebrate the communities that have done exceptional work in the past year and to provide leaders at all levels of government with ideas for how to create strong Complete Streets policies.

FIGURE 1 Number of Complete Streets policies nationwide, 2005–2013


FIGURE 2 Municipalities with Complete Streets policies by size, 1971—2013


Download full version (PDF): The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013

About Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods. We believe smart growth solutions support thriving businesses and jobs, provide more options for how people get around and make it more affordable to live near work and the grocery store. Our coalition works with communities to fight sprawl and save money. We are making America’s neighborhoods great together.”

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