photo of Rehoboth Beach traffic circleComplete Streets

After World War II, many communities were designed with an orientation toward automobile travel rather than pedestrian accessibility.   As a result, many communities lack sidewalks, safe crossings, bike lanes, and transit amenities.  Car-dominated communities have become burdened with high-speed traffic, congestion, air pollution, and less-active lifestyles.  

What are Complete Streets?

logo of National Complete Streets CoalitionAt the national level, a “complete streets” movement is underway to bring greater equality to multiple forms of—multi-modal—transportation during the process of designing and engineering roadways. Under the Complete Streets initiative, transportation agencies are striving to design streets and roadways to safely accommodate travelers of all ages and abilities—automobile drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users.  The National Complete Streets Coalition is encouraging state and local governments to adopt and implement comprehensive complete streets policies that incorporate ten essential elements.

Why are Complete Streets Important?

Complete streets offer a number of community benefits.  Communities with more bikeable, walkable, and non-motorized transportation options can help address rising obesity rates and contribute to healthier lifestyles. Complete streets communities offer greater transportation equity and mobility options to special-needs populations, including children, older adults, and people with disabilities.

Ultimately, complete streets offer a more balanced transportation system, one that ensures that roads are constructed and planned to serve all users.

For more information on the benefits of complete streets, view the National Complete Streets Coalition website and download its fact sheets.

Complete Streets in Delaware:  A Guide for Local Governments

cover of the Complete Streets publicationThis document, published by IPA in January 2012, is intended to help Delaware towns, cities, and counties achieve complete streets by evaluating the extent to which their community vision, plans, policies, design standards, and facility maintenance practices are consistent with complete-streets principles.

download the entire guide (20.4MB) PDF icon
download an individual section:
> Preface, Acknowledgements, and Table of Contents (193KB) PDF icon
> Executive Summary (147KB) PDF icon
> 1. Why Complete Streets? (549KB) PDF icon
> 2. What Are Complete Streets? (410KB) PDF icon
> 3. What Are the Benefits of Complete Streets? (483KB) PDF icon
> 4. What Are Charateristics of Complete Streets? (1.1MB) PDF icon
> 5. What Is the History of Complete Streets? (180KB) PDF icon
> 6. What Is Delaware's Complete Streets Policy? (1.4MB) PDF icon
> 7. How Can Delaware Local Governments Implement Complete Streets? (782KB) PDF icon
> 8. How Are Delaware Local Governments Progressing Toward Complete Streets? (2.0MB) PDF icon
> 9. How Can Delaware Local Governments Learn More About Complete Streets? (5.4MB) PDF icon
> Appendices (9.2MB) PDF icon