Complete Streets

For the past 60 years, transportation planning has focused on optimizing streets and highways to move motor vehicles as fast as possible. This usually happened at the expense of pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Complete Streets concept entails designing streets that are safe and efficient for all street users: motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, and to safely walk or bicycle to one’s destination.

In 2012, we worked with Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla to pass a Complete Streets policy for Philadelphia. The policy was adopted in 2013, and the City created a Complete Streets Handbook. This handbook requires all public and private development to consider the needs of all street users when impacting streets or sidewalks. The transparency and accountability built into this policy leaps Philadelphia into the forefront of American cities looking at their streets in this progressive way.

Outside of Philadelphia, the NJ Department of Transportation and several New Jersey towns and counties have adopted Complete Streets policies. We work with officials to ensure that these policies are implemented using the best and latest bikeway design guidance, and we encourage other municipalities to create similar policies.

Learn more about what a Complete Streets Policy means from Smart Growth America.