Complete Streets

In a Nutshell

Complete Streets is a program that advocates for street design that incorporates safe use through all modes of transportation including walking, biking, transit, and vehicular. The goal of Complete Streets is to make communities safer and more enjoyable to live in, and to raise the value of the surrounding property.

Practical Solution

The “How To”The “How To”

Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation. The National Complete Streets Coalition is a leading advocate for the adoption of Complete Streets principles. 

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) promotes Complete Streets by incorporating the principles into street and highway developments. In addition to promoting safety and easy access for multiple modes of transportation, Caltrans actively incorporates land use and local community needs into their Complete Streets program.

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. 

Locally, the City of FergusonCity of Clayton, and City of St. Louis have all passed Complete Streets ordinances.

Planning & ZoningPlanning & Zoning

Complete Streets are most commonly adopted as a policy, however, they can be incorporated into a larger document such as a Transportation Plan or Comprehensive Plan. This document contains complete streets policies adopted in De Soto, Herculaneum, Pevely, Festus, and Crystal City. In addition, the City of FergusonCity of Clayton, University City, FlorissantSt. Louis County, and City of St. Louis have all passed Complete Streets ordinances.

Crystal City's ordinance was ranked among the highest in the nation by a National Complete Streets Coalition analysis.


Dollars & CentsDollars & Cents

Complete Streets are implemented by first adopting a comprehensive policy that outlines your jurisdiction's commitment to creating Complete Streets. From there major steps to implementation include changing official policies and procedures, updating design guides, internal training and education, and monitoring progress and performance. The National Complete Streets Coalition is sponsored by Smart Growth America, and more information can be found on their website.

Measuring SuccessMeasuring Success

The transportation consulting firm Fehr & Peers developed a suite of measurements related to Level of Service for roadway users exclusive of drivers, called the Multi-Modal Level of Service Toolkit

The City of New York published a report with several metrics associated with multi-modal street design.

Case StudiesCase Studies

Explore Columbia

  • Contact

    Paul Ellis
    Director of Community and Economic Development
    6182817144 ext. 118
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The document is titled the Explore Columbia Comprehensive Alternative Transportation Plan. The objective of the plan is to provide a conceptual framework guiding future on- and off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities, with the overarching goal to transform the City of Columbia into a more bicycle- and pedestrian friendly community. The plan was sponsored by city's Play Commission, reviewed by Plan Commission, and adopted by City Council as amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.

    Cost $20,000
    Lessons Learned

    Emphasize public engage and creative solutions.

Festus, MO Complete Streets Policy

  • Contact

    Happy Welch
    City Administrator
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The City of Festus adopted by resolution a policy to incorporate the concepts of Complete Streets into their design, construction and maintenance of public transportation projects, improvements and facilities.


    The policy was presented to the City for adoption through the health department. No extraordinary costs were incurred.

    Lessons Learned

    The cities of Crystal City, Festus, Herculaneum, and Pevely all adopted Complete Streets policies. By adopted Complete Street policies, the cities were able to apply more competitively for Surface Transportation Project funding.

Discover MoreDiscover More

Smart Grown America and North California DOT offer information regarding Complete Streets.