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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012


In 2012 nearly 130 communities adopted Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions, executive orders, policies and planning and design documents encourage and provide safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or how they travel. The National Complete Streets Coalition examined every policy passed in 2012 and scored the policy language based on 10 elements: Vision and intent; All users and modes; All projects and phases; Clear, accountable exceptions; Network; Jurisdiction; Design; Context sensitivity; Performance measures; and Implementation next steps. These elements refine a community’s vision, provide clear direction and intent, complement community needs, and grant the flexibility needed to create an effective Complete Streets process and outcome. Ten cities have led the way in crafting comprehensive policy language and are a model for communities across the country. This report highlights exemplary policy language, and provides leaders at all levels of government with ideas for how to create strong Complete Streets policies. Information about additional resources for local leaders is also included.

Primary Toolkit:

Healthy Community Design Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Active Living, Community Design, Planning, Policies, Zoning


Institutional Author:

Smart Growth America, National Complete Streets Coalition




The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.