Issue Brief: Complete Streets Act


ASLA promotes legislation that advances safe, accessible, integrated transportation networks for all users, regardless of age, income, ethnicity, or mode of transportation.


Complete Streets require roadways to be designed for pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit riders, motorists, and persons with disabilities so all have safe, convenient, and comfortable access to transportation options. A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks. This helps to ensure streets are safe, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.

Between 2008 and 2017, 49,340 people were struck and killed by a car. The number of people struck by a car while walking on the street has increased by 35 percent in the last decade, and 2016 and 2017 were the deadliest years for pedestrians since 1990. Complete Streets can help reduce this number by making our streets safe for everyone regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation.

ASLA is a founding member of the National Complete Streets Coalition, which launched this movement in 2004, to promote the development and implementation of Complete Streets policies and professional practices. To date, over 1325 agencies at the local, regional, and state levels have adopted Complete Streets policies, totaling more than 1400 policies nationwide. The coalition is currently working to pass federal Complete Streets legislation and to ensure that state and local policies are implemented in a manner to ensure safe transportation networks for all.

Bill Summary

Senator Edward Markey (MA) introduced S. 2077 and Representative Steve Cohen (TN) introduced H.R. 3663 as the Complete Streets Act of 2019. This legislation would require the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, states, and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to adopt design standards for federal surface transportation projects that provide for the safe and adequate accommodation of all users of the surface transportation network, including motorized and non-motorized users, in all phases of project planning, development, and operation.

Additionally, this legislation would require states to set aside five percent of their federal highway money to create a Complete Streets program. Eligible entities would need to adopt a Complete Streets policy, participate in technical assistance, and create a prioritized plan for Complete Streets projects in their jurisdictions to access the funding.

Recent Action

On July 31, 2019, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works unanimously passed passed S. 2302, America's Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), out of committee. ATIA includes most of the Complete Streets Act, with revisions.

On July 10, 2019, Senator Edward Markey (MA) introduced S. 2077, the Complete Streets Act of 2019.

On July 10, 2019, Representative Steve Cohen (TN) introduced 3663, the Complete Streets Act of 2019.


S. 2077, Senator Edward Markey (MA) and cosponsors.

H.R. 3663, Representative Steve Cohen (TN) and cosponsors.  


Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs