Research


Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015
2016
In 2015, communities passed a total of 82 Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions, agency policies, and planning and design documents establish a process for selecting, funding, planning, designing, and building transportation projects that allow safe access for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel. Nationwide, a total of 899 Complete Streets policies are now in place, in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Thirty-two state governments or agencies, 76 regional organizations, and 663 individual municipalities have all adopted such policies to create safer, multimodal transportation networks.

Click here to download “The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015” (PDF)
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Safer Streets Stronger Economies: Complete Streets project outcomes from across the country
2015
What do communities get for their investments in Complete Streets? In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared to conventional transportation projects, these projects were remarkably affordable, and were an inexpensive way to achieve transportation goals. In terms of economic returns, the limited data available suggests Complete Streets projects were related to broader economic gains like increased employment and higher property values.
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Click here to download “Safer Streets Stronger Economies” (PDF)
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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014
2015
In 2014, more then 70 jurisdictions adopted Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions, agency policies, and planning and design documents establish a process for selecting, funding, planning, designing, and building transportation projects that allow safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel. Nationwide, a total of 712 jurisdictions have Complete Streets policies in place, including 30 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Fifty-eight regional planning organizations, 58 counties, and 564 municipalities in 48 states have adopted such policies to create safer, multimodal transportation networks.
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Click here to download “The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014” (PDF)
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Dangerous by Design 2014
2014
In the decade from 2003 through 2012, more than 47,000 people died while walking on our streets. That is 16 times the number of people who died in natural disasters during in the same ten years, but without the corresponding level of urgency. In 2012, pedestrians accounted for nearly 15 percent of all traffic deaths, up 6 percent from 2011 and representing a five-year high. Dangerous by Design 2014 takes a look at where these fatalities happen and who’s most at risk, presenting data from every county, metro area, and state. As in past years, Sunbelt communities that grew in the post-war period top the list of most dangerous regions. These areas developed rapidly, with many low-density neighborhoods overly dependent on extra wide, fast arterials to connect homes, schools, jobs and shops. Such roads rarely feature the facilities needed for safe travel by foot. The report also calls out the unacceptably high number of pedestrian deaths seen in nearly every major metro region.
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Click here to download “Dangerous by Design” (PDF)
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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013
2014
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.
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Click here to download “The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013” (PDF)
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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012
2013
In 2012 nearly 130 communities adopted Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions, executive orders, policies and planning and design documents encourage and provide safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or how they travel. In total, 488 Complete Streets policies are now in place nationwide, at all levels of government. Statewide policies are in place in 27 states as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Forty-two regional planning organizations, 38 counties and 379 municipalities in 48 states, that allow everyone, no matter how they travel, to safely use the roadway. The policies passed in 2012 comprise more than one quarter of all policies in place today.Click here to download “The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012” (PDF)
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Dangerous by Design 2011
2012
The decades-long neglect of pedestrian safety in the design and use of American streets is exacting a heavy toll on our lives. In the last decade, from 2000 through 2009, more than 47,700 pedestrians were killed in the United States, the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing roughly every month. On top of that, more than 688,000 pedestrians were injured over the decade, a number equivalent to a pedestrian being struck by a car or truck every 7 minutes. Despite the magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, little public attention – and even less in public resources – has been committed to reducing pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States. On the contrary, transportation agencies typically prioritize speeding traffic over the safety of people on foot or other vulnerable road users. Dangerous by Design 2011 spotlights the issue of pedestrian safety and the factors that make walking dangerous. Using ten years of pedestrian fatality data, as well as newly-released Census data on walking, we calculate a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) to rank the country’s largest metropolitan areas according to their relative risk to walkers. Further, we mine the data for details on who is most likely to be killed, and what types of roads are most dangerous for pedestrians.

Click here to download “Dangerous by Design 2011” (PDF)

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Dangerous by Design 2009
2010
In the last 15 years, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community. Children, the elderly and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in this figure, but people of all ages and all walks of life have been struck down in the simple act of walking. These deaths typically are labeled “accidents,” and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian. In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycle. Dangerous by Design 2009 spotlights the issue of pedestrian safety and the factors that make walking dangerous.

Click here to download “Dangerous by Design 2009” (PDF)

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