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Best Complete Streets Policies of 2018

Recently, the National Complete Streets Coalition, of which ASLA is a founding and Steering Committee member, released The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2018, a report that ranks and highlights some of the most effective policies in the nation. The Coalition began evaluating Complete Streets policies in 2006. In 2017 the group revised its grading rubric to focus on two major goals: Requiring a clear plan for implementation and requiring a tangible plan for how a community will prioritize its more vulnerable users, people of color, and older adults.

Currently a record number 1,477 communities have adopted Complete Streets policies, including 35 state governments, 79 regional planning organizations, 83 counties, and 1,160 individual municipalities, spanning all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This phenomenon demonstrates communities’ strong commitment to prioritizing the mobility, safety, and health of pedestrians and bicyclists. Yet, the Dangerous by Design 2019 report, showed, 49,340 people were struck and killed while walking and 7,327 people biking between 2008 and 2017. The report further showed that people of color are overrepresented among pedestrian deaths, and that people were more likely to be struck and killed by a car while walking in low-income neighborhoods. These same groups are also overrepresented in obesity rates.

With 66 Complete Streets policies adopted in 2018, the top 10 policies were in Cleveland Heights, OH, Des Moines, IA, Milwaukee, WI, Baltimore, MD, Madison, CT, Neptune Beach, FL, Fairfield, CT, Huntsville, AL, Amherst, MA, and Walpole, MA. The Cleveland Heights policies earned the highest score of 2018 because of its emphases on equity, attention to detail, and binding language to spur implementation. Milwaukee’s policy is notable for emphasizing streets that reflect their surrounding context and creating a strong committee comprised of city staff and people from outside organizations. The report features the top 10 policies and highlights key elements that make the policies successful. The report details its methodology and point system utilized for scoring policies. You can view and download the full report HERE.

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