A Complete Street is a roadway designed to safely accommodate all users-- pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders, and those with adisability. For decades, traffic engineers have designed streets,particularly urban arterials, primarily for the efficient movement ofprivate motor vehicles. Residents across the U.S. are demanding streetfeatures that consider the needs of other users.
Word. In fact, with Congressional legislation in the hopper and the backing of one of the nation's most powerful lobbies, the AARP, the Complete Streets movement may be poised to go mainstream in time for next year's federal transportation funding reauthorization. Writes Hamilton:
Since the early 2000's, state laws, local ordinances, and regionaltransportation funding agencies have begun a quiet revolution, adoptingComplete Streets policies (though not usually using this term). Suchpolicies are not one-size-fits-all, and need not be threatening totraffic engineers. They generally require that, depending on thecontext, roadway construction projects must include consideration ofits various users.
Now that higher gas prices have everyone from seniors to school kids looking at car-free means of transport, there is a lot of Complete Streets news to pass along. If you'd like to contribute to this or any other StreetsWiki entry -- or add one of your own -- you can start by joining the Livable Streets Network.
Photo: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Brad Aaron began writing for Streetsblog in 2007, after years as a reporter, editor, and publisher in the alternative weekly business. Brad adopted New York's dysfunctional traffic justice system as his primary beat for Streetsblog. He lives in Manhattan.