The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015

Key takeaway:

  • Complete Streets approaches create a safe transportation network for all travel modes and for people of all ages and abilities. This report provides national trends in Complete Streets policies and highlights exemplary policies implemented in 2015.


  • In 2015, 82 communities passed new Complete Streets policies, resulting in a total of 899 policies implemented in 32 state governments, 76 regional organizations, and 663 municipalities nationwide.
    • 36% of Complete Streets policies are in suburban areas and 17% are in small towns, which are often in rural areas. 12 of the most populated cities have adopted Complete Streets policies.
    • Most Complete Streets policies are resolutions adopted by city or county councils.
    • There are 25 states with 10 or more Complete Streets policies at the local, regional, or state level. New Jersey has the most policies in place, and Massachusetts adopted the most in 2015.
    • The highest ranking Complete Streets policies of 2015 were in: Reading, PA; West Hartford, CT; Park Forest, IL, South Bend, IN, and Longmeadow, MA (tie); Weymouth, MA; Omaha, NE; Vincennes, IN; Ashland, MA, Natick, MA, and Norwell, MA (tie); Little Rock, AR; Framington, MA, Lynn, MA, and Portage, MI (tie); and Battle Ground, WA.


  • The National Complete Streets Coalition scores policies based on inclusion of the following 10 ideal policy elements, which are described in detail in the report:
    • stated community vision for transportation
    • provisions for all road users and travel modes
    • application to all types and phases of transportation projects
    • clear exceptions that must be approved by high-level official
    • recognized need for connected street network
    • involvement of appropriate agencies influencing transportation in the jurisdiction
    • recommendations for best-practice design criteria and guidelines while accommodating project flexibility
    • sensitivity to local context, including built environment, land use, transportation, and community needs, in plans and designs
    • inclusion of performance standards with measurable outcomes
    • steps for implementation
    • The report includes an index of Complete Streets policy scores for all 899 policies nationwide.


Smart Growth America and National Complete Streets Coalition. (2016). The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015. [Report].

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