Complete Streets


CDTC New Visions Complete Streets Principle:

Street design will serve all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders,freight, and drivers.

Transportation investments are made based on a complete streets framework which supports the convenient and safe travel of all people — of all ages and abilities as appropriate to a facility’s community context.

Utilizing a complete streets framework ensures that transportation investments are consistently planned, programmed, designed, operated and maintained with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, pedestrians of all ages and abilities, and local delivery needs.

Successful implementation of a complete streets framework will be achieved by working with municipalities to improve communication and coordination, training and education.

A common definition of a Complete Street is one that is designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities including children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

New York State’s Complete Streets Act went into effect in 2012.

The New York State Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (NYSAMPO) has developed several fact sheets to offer examples of the types of treatments that are often included in a Complete Street:

  • Sidewalks that are wide enough and without obstacles so they can be used comfortably by all pedestrians, including those with visual or mobility impairments.
  • Narrower travel lanes, which contribute to slower vehicle speed and free up space for other uses in the existing right-of-way.
  • Proper accommodation of pedestrians at intersections, including crosswalks, curb ramps as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and accessible pedestrian signals.
  • Bicycle lanes or wide paved shoulders, depending on local policy.
  • Transit accommodations including special bus lanes or bus pull-outs, and comfortable and accessible transit stops. Bus stops should have shelters, and must be designed so the bus driver can deploy the wheelchair lift or ramp.
  • Landscape elements that help curb stormwater runoff such as bioswales, planters, rain gardens and street trees – are mutually beneficial for mobility and the environment. Such green elements contribute to a more comfortable and visually interesting environment for all users.