Complete Streets are an approach to street design that strives to accommodate all transportation modes including walking, cycling, transit and driving. They help create more livable neighbourhoods that encourage people to travel by foot, bicycle and transit
- Improving safety and accessibility for all road users.
- Providing infrastructure for a range of transportation options.
- Providing attractive streetscapes and public spaces.
- Promoting economic well-being of both businesses and residents.
Complete streets can take on many different forms. The essential components are the ability for everybody to navigate the street safely. For pedestrians and cyclists, that means increasingly having their own separate space, protected from motor vehicles
where speed is higher. For transit passengers, it means good access to well-placed transit stops with comfortable waiting areas including weather protection. For motor vehicles, the frequency and severity of collisions can be reduced through improved
> A complete street can take many different forms as shown below. The primary newcomer to the streetscape is the dedicated protected space for cycling. This is a critical requirement and has proven time and again it is necessary to make it safe
enough to encourage and enable cycling for all ages and abilities. Pedestrians were often relegated to a minimum width sidewalk which was insufficient for people to pass, particularly if using mobility aids, so typically wider sidewalks are preferred.
Conversely, lanes for motor vehicles were often unnecessarily wide, making it easier to drive faster, reducing driver perception of their sunrroundings, and increasing the likelihood and severity of collisions.
The best option for each street will vary. Options include reducing vehicle lane widths, or even removing lanes that are under-utilized and repurposing this space for other uses. Another is acquiring additional right-of-way from adjacent properties.
Some Canadian examples of what a complete street might look like are provided below.
Some examples of complete streets from around the world are also provided below.
Photo and wording contributions by ISL.