Great Streets

In a Nutshell

The St. Louis Great Streets Initiative was created in early 2006 to expand the use of multi-modal streets, also known as Complete Streets. The goal of the program is to trigger economic and social growth with the aid of lively and attractive multi-modal streets.

Practical Solution

The “How To”The “How To”

Great Streets is a local effort to encourage and promote the ideals behind Complete Streets. Through the Great Streets program, East-West Gateway Council of Governments offers educational opportunities for community leaders. Great Streets also provides funding opportunities for communities interested in diversifying the design and use of public streets.

East-West Gateway launched the St. Louis Great Streets Initiative in early 2006. The goal of the initiative is to trigger economic and social benefits by centering communities around lively and attractive streets accessible by multiple modes of transportation. Current and completed Great Streets Plan projects are available here. These projects incorporated the Great Streets design principles in the development of a plan for a specific community.

The 8 Principles of Great Streets can be incorporated into any street design. The basic idea behind Great Streets is for the streets to be sustainable and accessible by multiple forms of transportation. Communities interested in learning more about how they can use Great Streets should visit the initative’s website. There are webpages for the various kinds of places where Great Streets can be used, including mixed-use development and residential neighborhoods.

Charlotte, North Carolina is another good example of a community that has applied the principles of Complete Streets. Their approach has been to design and build streets that improve neighborhood safety and livability, promote transportation choices and create long-lasting value.

Planning & ZoningPlanning & Zoning

East-West Gateway encourages all communities to incorporate the Great Streets principles into their roadway projects. As communities complete the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) application process, they are encouraged to include a discussion of how their project incorporates the principles of Great Streets.

Dollars & CentsDollars & Cents

The costs and benefits of Great Streets are similar to those of Complete Streets. Smart Growth America has published a Guide to Answering the Costs Question for Complete Streets. While Smart Growth America promotes the benefits of the Complete Streets, it is also honest and up front about the program's costs.

Measuring SuccessMeasuring Success

New York City published the report "Measuring the Street: New Metrics for 21st Century Streets" which details several metrics that can be used to measure the effects of multi-modal streets. Smart Growth for America published a tool Measuring the Benefits of Complete Streets

Case StudiesCase Studies

South Grand Boulevard Great Streets Initiative

  • Contact

    Rachel Witt
    Executive Director, South Grand Community Improvement District
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    South GrandThe South Grand district serves as a model “Great Street” for the City of St. Louis, as the Master Plan set new expectations for the relationship between transportation and community. The city has the highest aspirations for improving the safety, walkability and aesthetics of the street, while setting a new standard for local sustainability and accessibility practices. The South Grand district is the first project in the Great Streets Initiative to move into design and construction.

    Cost $0
    Lessons Learned

    An important lesson gleamed from this project was the importance of getting feedback from all of the relevant stakeholders. The stakeholders need to be engaged early and often. This allows for better and more complete planning. 

Discover MoreDiscover More

The main source for information about this Initiative can be found at: St. Louis Great Streets Initiative: Digital Design Guide.

East-West Gateway also maintains information on their website.