Complete Streets

People of all ages, abilities, income, race, and ethnicity should have safe, comfortable, and convenient access to community destinations and public places—whether walking, driving, bicycling, rolling a mobility device, pushing a stroller, or taking public transportation. Unfortunately, many transportation systems are unbalanced and designed primarily for travel by cars.

In the last decade, there has been a growing recognition of the need to create “complete streets.” Complete streets are planned, designed, built, and maintained to safely accommodate travelers of all ages and abilities—motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users—including children, non-drivers, older adults, people who don’t own cars, and persons with disabilities.

Complete streets became part of Delaware’s policy agenda in 2009, with the issuance of an executive order by then-Governor Jack Markell. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) was directed to create a complete streets policy to ensure that Delaware’s transportation system is safe for people of all ages and abilities; balances the needs of different modes; and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments. Complete Streets in Delaware: A Guide for Local Governments explains strategies that towns, cities, and counties can undertake to support the state’s policy to provide safe, equitable, and accessible transportation to all users and modes.

Complete streets are essential to planning for a healthy and complete community. The “Planning Tools” section of the Delaware Complete Communities Planning Toolbox provides the following tools to help local governments establish complete streets:

This video, produced by IPA, explains Delaware’s Complete Streets policy and highlights the benefits and economic implications of local government policy adoption.

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