Streets should be designed and maintained to meet all our needs. Whether you walk, bike, roll, drive, or use public transit, we all deserve streets that are safe. Tragically, people in the United States are struck and killed, maimed, and seriously injured by vehicles on unsafe streets at alarming rates. All people from all neighborhoods should have access to Complete Streets that help them get where they need to go, live, play, and grow.
The Safe Streets Challenge
- Between 2010 and 2019, drivers struck and killed 53,435 people while walking throughout the United States — more than 14 people per day, on average.
- Over that same period, the number of people struck and killed while walking each year increased by 45 percent. 2018 and 2019 were the two most deadly years since 1990 for the number of people who were killed by drivers while walking.
- While traffic deaths impact every community in the United States, older adults, people of color, and people walking in low-income communities bear a higher share of this harm.
A Healthy Solution: Complete Streets
- Decreases Injuries and Death — When cities have a variety of transportation options, it reduces motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths, improves the health of our environment, and stimulates economic development.
- Promotes Healthy Living — People who live in neighborhoods where they can easily walk anywhere get 35-45 minutes more of physical activity per week. This helps prevent chronic disease and obesity.
- Ensures Accessibility — Complete Streets policies ensure that all people, regardless of age, ability, income, race, ethnicity, or where they live, have safe and convenient ways of getting around — as well as opportunities for active living.
The state of complete streets policies in big US cities
23 out of 75 cities received a medal for complete streets policies, including four golds, 18 silver, and one bronze.
Measuring cities’ Complete Streets policies
|How will we award complete streets medals?||Bronze Medal||Silver Medal||Gold Medal|
|City has a complete streets policy.|
|Policy requires compliance.|
|Policy balances pedestrians, bicyclists, and at least two other modes.|
|Policy references the adoption of specific design guidelines, and/or requires the development or revision of internal design policies and guides.|
|Policy explicitly prioritizes vulnerable users.|
|Policy requires compliance of all new construction, reconstruction, and retrofit projects.|
|Policy references compliance of all maintenance projects and ongoing operations.|
|Policy assigns a department to oversee implementation.|
|Policy references the development of an inclusive community engagement plan.|
|Policy requires the collection and publication of performance measures, including performance measures that account for equity.|
|Policy includes explicit exemptions.|
|Policy encourages private development projects comply.|
|Policy establishes a timeline for the review and improvements to project selection criteria.|