What are complete streets?

You may have heard the term “complete streets” in recent discussions.  There have been recent articles written in Time Magazine and Chicago Tribune in regards to complete streets, yet there is probably confusion as to what complete streets really are.

In the simplest terms, complete streets are streets designed for all people to use regardless of mode of transportation.  This means that streets are focused on how people will use them and not merely as a domain for cars.  Complete streets consider not only using streets for getting from place-to-place but that people assemble at the street, exercise on streets, children play in streets and festivals occur in streets.  Complete streets also take into account that streets provide a connection between places.  Complete streets link together the places where people congregate: homes, parks, churches, commerce, and institutions of learning.  Complete streets realize that the bringing together of people is the primary purpose of streets. People move first and foremost through their legs, so walking and biking are incorporated within complete street designs.  People with disabilities and the elderly are also important considerations when thinking through a street’s design.  Finally, there is the traditional transportation options of busing and automobiles.  Complete streets take into account all people, linking them together, and making sure the street can meet multiple uses.

You may learn more through a short video, Complete Streets Planning 101.

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One thought on “What are complete streets?

  1. I wanted to share with this group that through the efforts of Wilmette Citizens for Active Transportation (WCAT), the Wilmette Village Board recently passed an ordinance adopting a Complete Streets policy (Ordinance #2015-O-4). Now that this is official Wilmette policy, we can build on this in our future advocacy efforts.

    I hope the Wilmette viewers of this website will consider joining WCAT. https://www.facebook.com/groups/610470562422729/

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