The Complete Streets Act (Chapter 398, Laws of New York ) was signed into law on August 15, 2011 and requires state, county and local agencies to consider the convenience and mobility of all users when developing transportation projects that receive state and federal funding. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is working to ensure that its policies and procedures meet the new standards. The initiative presents an opportunity to expand upon existing programs and collaborate with bicyclists, pedestrians, people with disabilities and others to identify best practices and designs for transportation facilities.
Strengthening NYSDOT’s Complete Streets efforts requires both internal evaluation and ideas from everyone who uses and relies upon the transportation system - individuals, organizations and even entire communities. We encourage you to provide your comments about Complete Streets in New York State at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a Complete Street?
A Complete Street is a roadway planned and designed to consider the safe, convenient access and mobility of all roadway users of all ages and abilities. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation riders, and motorists; it includes children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
Complete Street roadway design features include sidewalks, lane striping, bicycle lanes, paved shoulders suitable for use by bicyclists, signage, crosswalks, pedestrian control signals, bus pull-outs, curb cuts, raised crosswalks, ramps and traffic calming measures.
What are the Benefits of Complete Streets?
As stated in the Act, Complete Streets will contribute to a "cleaner, greener transportation system" and "more citizens will achieve the health benefits associated with active forms of transportation while traffic congestion and auto related air pollution will be reduced."
A 2015 Smart Growth America study of completed projects, Safer Streets, Stronger Economies , found that "Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal."
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) found, in The Economic Benefits of Sustainable Streets , "convincing evidence that improved accessibility and a more welcoming street environment... generate[d] increases in retail sales in the project areas."
Who’s Responsible for Implementing Complete Streets?
The New York State Department of Transportation and local agencies - typically counties and municipalities - are responsible for implementing Complete Streets.
The law applies to projects that are undertaken by NYSDOT, or to local projects that receive both federal and state funding and are subject to NYSDOT oversight. Projects that are 100% locally funded are not subject to the law, but local agencies can choose to adopt Complete Streets practices. Many local agencies' Complete Streets resolutions and policies can be found on the Counties and Municipalities with Resolutions page.