National Complete Streets Coalition


This section provides a variety of resources to help you spread the word about Complete Streets policies. Additional resources can be found by topic area in the fact sheets pages.

Complete Streets Basic Info

Frequently Asked Questions – Answers to common questions about the basics of Complete Streets.

Handout: Common Features and Benefits (.pdf) – A double-sided one-page handout providing an overview of complete streets.

Handout: Policy and Implementation (.pdf) – This handout includes covers elements of a Complete Streets policy and various issues in implementation.

Presentation: Introduction to Complete Streets (.pptx, 9.8 MB) – A comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on why we need Complete Streets, also available to view in your browser. (Please note: The downloadable presentation is a PowerPoint 2007 (PC)/PowerPoint 2008 (Mac) file. If you are using an earlier version of PowerPoint, please be sure you’ve installed in the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Windows or Mac. Do not unzip the file if prompted.)

Presentation: The Many Benefits of Complete Streets (.pptx, 12.8 MB) – A comprehensive PowerPoint presentation the many potential benefits of a Complete Streets approach.

Presentation: Complete Streets Policy Development 101 (.pptx, 9.8 MB) – A comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on the ten elements of a Complete Streets policy.

Complete Streets Atlas – An interactive map of all the jurisdictions that have adopted a complete streets approach, along with downloadable charts of selected policies.

Calles Completas: Complete Streets in Spanish – We have a number of introductory Complete Streets resources available in Spanish, including frequently asked questions, a handout, and a downloadable presentation.

Street Design: Part 1 – Complete StreetsPublic Roads, the bimonthly magazine of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), ran a comprehensive article on Complete Streets in its July/August 2010 edition.

Reports & Articles

Complete Streets: Best Policy and Implementation Best Practices – This Planners Advisory Service report, a joint project of the American Planning Association and the National Complete Streets Coalition, draws on lessons learned from 30 communities across the country. The report provides insight into successful strategies and practices to create complete streets, including how to build support for complete streets, adopt policies, and integrate the policy into everyday practice. Co-edited by Barbara McCann and Suzanne Rynne, with chapters written by Coalition staffer Stefanie Seskin, it also covers topics such as cost, design, and working with stakeholders.

Complete Streets: Best Policy and Implementation Best Practices — Chapter 5: Making the Transition (.pdf) – This chapter from the Best Practices report covers how communities make the transition from traditional, automobile-based transportation planning to a more inclusive and multimodal process through the four key steps for successful implementation: 1) Restructure procedures to accommodate all users on every project; 2) Develop new design policies and guides; 3) Offer workshops and other training opportunities to planners and engineers; and 4) Institute better ways to measure performance and collect data on how well the streets are serving all users.

Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America – A major report from the AARP Public Policy Institute, working with the Renaissance Planning Group, the National Complete Streets Coalition, the Institute of Transportation Engineers and others, on considering the needs of older people in multimodal street planning.

Complete Streets in the United States – In this paper, John LaPlante and Barbara McCann discuss the growth of the Complete Streets movement and how the design of our streets can provide more room for nonmotorized travelers and control traffic speeds for safety (January 2011).

Complete Streets: We Can Get There from Here (.pdf) – Authored by John LaPlante and Barbara McCann; in the journal of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (May 2008).

Retrofitting Urban Arterials into Complete Streets (.pdf) – John LaPlante’s research at TRB’s 3rd Urban Street Symposium (2007).

Public Policies for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility (.pdf) – This 2010 Federal Highway Administration report identifies and provides examples of effective policies and implementing
programs that support pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility, based on examples from the U.S. and abroad.

Aging Americans: Stranded Without Options – This report concludes that as Americans grow older, our existing transportation network is unable to meet their needs of the national’s aging population particularly as they become less willing and able to drive.

Model Complete Streets Communications Plan (.doc) – In January 2007, the Partnership for Active Communities in Sacramento, California, kicked off its campaign, based on this Communications Plan, to build support for Complete Streets.

Partnership Moves Community Toward Complete Streets – Published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, this article describes how the Partnership for Active Communities brought together multidisciplinary organizations to support increased walking and bicycling through a 5-year project.

Constructing, Maintaining, and Financing Sidewalks in New Jersey – Research done to explore who is responsible for sidewalks, with a review of state and national guidelines, consultation with national professionals, and a legal analysis of sidewalk-related caselaw.

Dangerous by Design – Transportation for America’s 2009 report ranks pedestrian safety in major metro areas, finding ‘incomplete’ streets a major culprit in the deaths of thousands of Americans every year.

Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2010 Benchmarking Report – This report from the Alliance for Biking Walking highlights data on biking and walking levels, safety, funding, policies, and more from 50 states and the 51 largest cities.


Introduction to Complete Streets (21.6MB) – A comprehensive PowerPoint presentation on why we need complete streets, also available to view in your browser. (Please note: This presentation is a PowerPoint 2007 (PC)/PowerPoint 2008 (Mac) file. If you are using an earlier version of PowerPoint, please be sure you’ve installed in the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Windows or Mac.)

Completing the Streets for Transit – Summary report from a planning workshop hosted by the National Complete Streets Coalition at Rail~volution in November, 2006. Sponsored by the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program.

Road Diets (.pdf) – Michael Ronkin delivered this presentation at the 2007 New Partners for Smart Growth conference. Many successful examples are included, as well as safety benefits and capacity information.

Complete Streets and Context Sensitive Solutions – Featuring Gabe Rousseau, Ph.D., FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, Barbara McCann, and Michael Ronkin, this presentation (with audio) discuesses the importance of complete streets, federal programs and policies that support complete streets efforts locally, and how the design and implementation of complete strets relates to Context Sensitive Solutions.

Fact Sheets

The Coalition has a series of fact sheets covering topics such as economic revitalization, climate change, and health.

Active Facts: Complete Streets for Active Communities (.pdf) – The Active Living Resource Center provides guidance on making the streets meet the needs for all transportation users.

Complete Streets/Calles Completas (.pdf) – Planning for Healthy Places, a program of the Public Health Institute’s Public Health Law & Policy project, offers general fact sheets in both English and Spanish.

Making the Case for Active Transportation – The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute has developed this series of fact sheets focused on designing communities to move people, not cars. Publications include Health Benefits, Barriers to Active Transportation, Increasing Social Capital, and the Role for Municipal Decision Makers.

Complete Streets in Station-Area Plans – The Great Communities Collaborative developed a comprehensive fact sheet on the need to integrate complete streets concepts in transit station area plans, as well as general information on the need to create streets for all users.

Design Guidance

Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach: An ITE Recommended Practice – This new Institute of Transportation Engineers Recommended Practice advances the successful integration of land use consideration and multi-modal streets to create walkable communities.

Revised Draft Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Way – The latest draft of new guidelines being developed by the US Access Board for public rights-of-way that will address various access issues.

Urban Bikeway Design Guide – The Urban Bikeway Design Guide, issued by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, is based on national and international best practices in bikeway design and will be updated regularly. It can be adopted by individual cities, counties, or states as either a stand-alone document or as a supplement to other guidance documents.

Design Issues for Sidewalks – US Access Board videos that address design sidewalk accessibility issues.

Relationship of Lane Width to Safety for Urban and Suburban Arterials (.pdf) – Road design policy reseach that argues that encouraging narrow lanes will not increase safety risk in most cases.

Rethinking the Suburban Bus Stop (.pdf) – This report from the Airport Corridor Transportation Association suggests designs to improve different types of suburban bus stops and is a great guide for all suburban communities and transit agencies.

Road Diet Handbook: Setting Trends for Livable Streets – This resource from Jennifer Rosales at Parsons Brinckerhoff, and available through the Institute of Transportation Engineers, takes a practitioner through planning, analysis, design, and implementation of road diet projects.

Bicycle Facilities and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices – This table from the Federal Highway Administration lists information regarding approval status (e.g., can be implemented, currently experimental) of various bicycle related treatments not directly covered in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Complete Intersections: A Guide to Reconstructing Intersections and Interchanges for Bicyclists and Pedestrians (.pdf) – This guide from the California Department of Transportation discusses how to balance the needs of all users – including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and vehicles – at intersections.

MassDOT Project Development & Design Guide – The Massachusetts road design manual integrates all modes and gives cities and towns more control over design decisions.

Smart Transportation Guidebook – Developed by the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation, the Guidebook details design guidelines for both roadway and roadside elements and a template of flexible design values for various road and community environments.

Charlotte, NC Urban Street Design Guidelines – The USDG are the implementation tool for planning and designing Charlotte’s streets and for providing viable transportation choices for all Charlotteans.

San Francisco Better Streets Plan – The Better Streets Plan creates a unified set of standards, guidelines, and implementation strategies to govern how the San Francisco designs, builds, and maintains its pedestrian environment. The Better Streets Plan process brings together staff of multiple City agencies to comprehensively plan for streets.

City of New Haven Complete Streets Design Manual (.pdf) – The Complete Streets Design Manual provides technical guidance on the building, rebuilding, repair, and rehabilitation of New Haven streets and equips citizens with the tools and information needed to engage in the transportation planning and design process.

New York City Street Design Manual – The Street Design Manual is a thoughtful, comprehensive document covering the many street types found in all five boroughs and is recognized as one of the best in the nation.

Tacoma, WA Complete Streets Design Guidelines – Tacoma’s new Complete Streets Guidelines will provide a comprehensive set of city-wide design guidelines. So far, guidance has been adopted for Mixed-Use Centers (.pdf) and for Residential areas (.pdf). The project team plans to develop guidance for industrial areas and major connector streets. The city also developed a traffic calming primer in coordination with a local elementary school.

Maricopa Association of Governments Complete Streets Guide (.pdf) – This guide for the Phoenix, AZ area provides sample outcomes, examples of best practices, and policy guidance to ensure that all new and retrofitted streets in the MAG region serve all users.

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