As the impressive number of Complete Streets policies indicates, there is a growing demand for a new approach to our streets, one that measures success not by moving more cars more quickly through communities, but instead by prioritizing the safety, access, and mobility of all modes.
While each adopted Complete Streets policy must be unique to reflect local realities, the best policies are not simply blanket commitments to completing the streets. Instead, they prompt specific, measurable goals for the multimodal roads we envision.
Across the country, communities are building roads with these new goals and standards in mind, redefining what exemplifies a successful road. Communities are using a mix of metrics, both system-wide goals, like number of people walking to their destinations or miles of new bike lanes, and project-level outcomes, measuring things like speed and injuries before and after the changes.
In Boulder, Colorado, the city’s Transportation Master Plan sets tangible goals for completing Boulder’s streets, including: hold vehicle miles traveled would not exceed its 1994 levels; reduce the number of trips made by one person driving alone to 25%; and allow no more than 20% of the system to be congested. Also a goal: not allowing any one mode to be developed to the detriment of others. To accomplish this, Boulder focused on planning, funding, and implementing a balanced set of travel choices.