Technical Resources

Complete Streets Resources

The following is a listing of the most recent publications for this topic.

ITE Releases Curbside Management Practitioner's Guide
ITE Releases Curbside Management Practitioner's Guide The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has released the Curbside Management Practitioner's Guide, which provides guidance on best practices for curb space allocation policy and implementation based primarily upon the outcomes of tested strategies. It presents a framework and toolbox for analyzing and optimizing curb space in this time of change with the aim of prioritizing and maximizing community values and safety.
Nov 15, 2018
Curbside Management Case Study: San Francisco, CA
Curbside Management Case Study: San Francisco, CA
Nov 14, 2018
Curbside Management Case Study: Toronto, ON
Curbside Management Case Study: Toronto, ON
Nov 14, 2018
Curbside Management Case Study: Washington, DC
Curbside Management Case Study: Washington, DC
Nov 14, 2018
Curbside Management Practitioners Guide
Curb space is where movement meets access. However, this valuable and flexible public space is not always optimized for its highest and best use. Curb space can be used not only as car parking and loading, but also as the front stoop, sidewalk café, transit hub, freight delivery zone, taxi stand, rain garden, or trash collection area. It serves many purposes throughout the day and makes possible the exchanges and interactions that occur on great streets. Curb space has historically been a reliable revenue source for municipalities through parking fees, and a key indicator for real estate and retail value. The curb space is usually contested; reassigning curb space for new purposes is often politically fraught, in part because use of the curb is competitive and viewed as zero-sum.
Nov 14, 2018
Traffic Calming Fact Sheets
A series of fact sheets providing an overview of several traffic calming measures are available from this Web page. A photograph of a typical application as well as a plan-view sketch are included within each fact sheet.
Aug 7, 2018
Placemaking through a Traffic Signal Box Art Project: Effect of Artist Wrap to Cabinet Temperature
Traffic signal cabinets are often used as a streetscape design element in a complete streets project. Many complete streets projects include streetscaping (public art, murals, site furnishing, etc.) to enhance the aesthetics and appearance of a community transportation project. Public art can create a sense of place, tell a story about the surrounding community, help to limit urban blight, and deter vandalism.
Apr 2, 2018
Complete Streets Council Best Project Award
The ITE Complete Streets Council Best Project Award is bestowed on a project that applies innovative design solutions or study techniques related to complete streets. Projects that best benefit the profession and the public are encouraged to be submitted for consideration.
Jan 9, 2018
Providing Vehicular Cyclists with Routine Accommodation in the United States as Part of Complete Streets
This article focuses on the need for knowledgeable cyclists to have the option to be treated as vehicle operators, referred to here as vehicular cyclists. The preoccupation of transportation engineers and planners with separate bicycle facilities can directly prejudice cyclists’ preferences, and possible remedies are discussed. A previous paper by Pion and Cline discussed bicycling education in the United States, describing successful programs for children and adults in the context of a sixth overarching E of transportation safety—“Equality”—the others being Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation.
Jan 1, 2018
A Pre-Post Analysis of Bridge Improvements for Cycling in Mankato, Minnesota
State and local governments throughout the United States have adopted Complete Streets policies, prepared bicycle plans, and worked to integrate bicycle facilities safely into existing transportation networks without affecting traffic flows. Transportation engineers are evaluating these facilities to determine their effects on both safety and the efficiency of traffic flows. For example, researchers at Portland State University recently completed a major assessment of green bicycle lanes in the United States. The state of Minnesota has adopted Complete Streets policies, and, in 2015, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) developed a Statewide Bicycle System Plan with the goals of safety and comfort for riders, increasing local and regional network connections, and ultimately attracting more riders into the system. To support these policies, MnDOT and its Local Road Research Board (LRRB) have initiated research projects to assess the traffic impacts of bicycle facilities and strengthen guidelines for planners and engineers who are designing and implementing bicycle facilities.
Nov 1, 2017
Assessing the Potential of Streets to Be Redesigned as Complete Streets: A Multi-Criteria Approach
Assessing the Potential of Streets to Be Redesigned as Complete Streets: A Multi-Criteria Approach
Aug 1, 2017
Building on Complete Streets Momentum From Studies to On-the-Ground Solutions
Complete streets design has evolved rapidly in the last five years with resources and guidance testing the limits of engineering practice and pushing forward innovative solutions to serve all ages and abilities. Robust public engagement during the planning process generates a great amount of excitement and support around complete streets, but as the push to innovate increases, the stakes and expectations for improvements have become ever higher. Long periods of time can pass while project sponsors look for funding, construction documents are developed, and improvements constructed, which can kill the momentum and public excitement generated during the planning process. At the same time, projects all too oft en emerge from a core safety concern, and that concern continues while the project awaits implementation. To overcome this gap, many cities have looked to “quick build” projects to pilot innovative designs efficiently, using materials that can easily be modified and adapted.
May 3, 2017
The Importance of ITE’s Complete Street Initiatives
It is becoming increasingly recognized by transportation professionals that building complete streets affects the quality of life in every urban center, suburb, or rural community they work in. Studies have shown that society wants transportation choices. Our profession used to call it “transportation alternatives,” which indirectly sends the message that biking, walking, and transit are of secondary importance compared to prioritizing the free flow movement of automobiles and trucks.
Sep 2, 2016
Building Better Communities Through Complete Streets—The Protected Intersection
Americans like freedom. It is what the nation was founded on; it is what guarantees citizens the right to pursue their own happiness; and, in essence, it is what exemplifies the American dream. When exploring the concept in depth, it really boils down to the freedom of choice: having options, being able to choose careers, where to live, and what interests to pursue. Interestingly, and somewhat shockingly, Americans have some of the most restricted freedom—or least number of options—when it comes to transportation. Americans have built the country for driving, pure and simple, and have gotten very good at it. Sidewalks are not always a required component of streets. Intersections can be extremely large and permit high-speed turning vehicles to cross paths with vulnerable pedestrians. Even if there is the infrastructure to walk and bicycle, it may be at minimum widths that feel uncomfortable to most users—limiting use almost as if by design. Contrast this with the nation’s historical tendency to maximize standard dimensions for vehicles through lane widths and turning radii, and to design for traffic volumes decades into the future that have no guarantee of actually occurring.
Mar 1, 2016
C-Curb Your Enthusiasm: A Road Diet, Safety Improvements, and Public Controversy in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
In November 2015, the City of Bellingham, WA, USA completed $4.3 million in safety improvements on Alabama Street using the principals of Complete Streets and Bellingham’s “Complete Networks” approach to multimodal transportation planning.1,2 This complex 1.75-mile-long project wove together a partial road diet, six new pedestrian hybrid beacon (“HAWK”) signal crossings, a transit bus queue jump, relocation of five transit bus shelters, 114 curb ramp upgrades to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, 38 total driveways/alleyways reconstructed to meet ADA sidewalk standards, bike lanes, bike boulevards, bike boxes, center turn lanes, asphalt resurfacing, a reduced speed limit, and a c-curb median for access management to make Alabama Street safer for all users and to reconnect residential neighborhoods that had been bisected by this busy roadway. The transportation planning for these improvements took more than three years and, despite all of the safety benefits, the project was extremely controversial in the community.
Mar 1, 2016
Emerging Methods of Signal Timing Optimization
Many believe that there is little room for improvement in the signal timing optimization process. To the contrary, recent advances imply that the current practice is far from perfected. Rapidly evolving intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies are not close to being used to their full potential. Multimodalism and “complete streets” are hot topics within the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), but their connection to signal optimization is not being made. Advances in optimization theory have not yet made an impact on signal timing. Computer speeds have increased exponentially, making it possible to deploy optimization methods that are much more powerful and much more computationally expensive. Alternative intersection designs are going viral, but the research on optimizing these facilities has only just begun. Finally, connected and autonomous vehicles could drastically improve traffic flow and traffic safety, but they may upset the way that transportation engineers traditionally do their jobs. With all of these changes looming, are you ready for 21st century signal timing?
Jul 30, 2015
We Have Vision and Leadership Now, How to Make It Happen?
Livable and complete streets goals are increasingly embraced by municipal leaders across the United States. This support is critical but not sufficient for overcoming myriad obstacles to building the necessary agency and community support for specific projects. This article discusses proven strategies to tackle seven commonly encountered obstacles.
Jun 30, 2015
Breaking Barriers With Building Blocks: The Story of the City of Edmonton's Award-Winning Bicycle Education Videos
In 2009, the population of the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada was booming, putting a strain on infrastructure: we needed to reduce our reliance on single-occupant vehicles. In response, the Edmonton City Council approved plans to expand our interconnected multimodal transportation system of light rail transit and bus networks, pedestrian facilities, and bike routes. The City of Edmonton’s Transportation Services department set to work implementing a 10-year plan to design and install quality cycling infrastructure. Our aim: create a network of routes that would connect people to the places they wanted to go and promote cycling as a safe and healthy alternative for traveling around the city.
Jun 1, 2015
Safer Streets, Stronger Economies: Complete Streets Project Outcomes From Across the United States
Complete Streets, as a transportation decision-making approach, has gained popularity as a low-cost way to achieve multiple community goals: reducing crashes and injuries, supporting economic development, and encouraging multimodal travel. A Complete Streets approach directs transportation professionals to consistently plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain a community’s transportation network to support travel by foot, assistive device, bicycle, public transportation vehicle, car, and truck. More than 700 states, regions, counties, cities, and towns in the United States have committed to this approach through a Complete Streets policy.
Jun 1, 2015
Moving Ahead for Multimodal Performance Measures: Applying the Charlotte, NC Bicycle and Pedestrian Level of Service Tool in Santa Monica, CA
The urban street design guidelines in Charlotte, NC, USA are an implementation tool for planning and designing “complete streets” in the region. Following their release and adoption in 2007, these guidelines have received a fair deal of praise, including the 2009 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Award for Smart Growth Achievement.1 They have additionally been lauded for use of context sensitive design and for including a clear institutional process for applying the guidelines to all stages of project delivery.2,3 However, with all of these awards and attention, there was relatively little commentary on the bicycle and pedestrian level of service tools created in part with the guidelines.
Mar 31, 2015