Complete and Living Streets

Complete Streets and Living Streets are two design trends that seek to improve mobility and safety for all users of the transportation system. Each can be significant components in the Vision Zero movement being embraced across the Country.

Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete street design is an engineer driven solution to provide accommodations for multiple modes of travel in defined spaces; with motorist safety, design speed and projected volume demands as the fundamental design elements. Below is an example of a complete street:

Living Streets, based on the Dutch Woonerf concept, feature speed limits of 15 - 20 mph with all modes free to move about the street. Further, while no mode dominates, the safety of the pedestrian and bicyclist is the fundamental starting point for design. Living Streets are focused on person mobility, not motor vehicle mobility. Below is an example of a living street:

To realistically achieve Vision Zero, speed limits need to be reduced, whether as part of a complete street or living street design. Ideal speeds for prioritizing walking and biking are 15 to 20 mph; 25 mph maximum in a complete street context where traffic volumes are higher. The principal means to achieve reduced speeds are with narrower travel lanes of 10' or less. The integration of multimodal features like on-street parking, protected bike lanes, street trees and visible cross-walks with flashing lights are all other design features that can be incorporated into complete streets to make people walking and biking more visible and slow down speeds.

Complete & Living Street Design Applications

  • New or Widened Streets
  • Road Diets
  • Reimagining & Repurposing Streets
  • Retrofitting Streets
  • Resurfacing & Reconstruction

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