Step 1: Setting Goals and Performance Metrics

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The following section answers common questions and provides resources for this step in the Complete Streets cycle.

I have roadway design standards. Other than to meet the requirements of the California Complete Streets Act (AB 1358), why do I need a Complete Streets policy?

Urban, suburban, and rural examples from around the country demonstrate that Complete Streets are beneficial not only for mobility and safety, but also for economic development and sustainability. Demographic changes, financial constraints, and shifting community values compelled many cities and counties to re-imagine their transportation systems.  In turn, they developed robust Complete Street policies to address federal, state, and regional priorities, meet the needs of users, and successfully compete for funding.

Regional and state programs created an impetus for Complete Streets policies, but each community defines how that policy meets their own goals.

How can Complete Streets policies save me time and effort in the long run?

Clear, effective policies consider the needs of all users of the street in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation networks, and limit conflicts over projects between departments or with the community. The policy framework should span all relevant city/county departments and directly support the goals identified in local plans, regional planning documents, and state guidance.

Local Complete Streets policies can complement regional and state policies and help create a more unified local approach; see which components are the most important.  

SACOG and the State seem to want Complete Streets everywhere, but I don’t have people walking or biking much in my community, or I’ve built bike lanes and I never see anyone riding on them. Why should I spend critical transportation funds on bikeways and sidewalks?

Safety risks, as well as the perception of unsafe streets, dissuade the majority of people from biking and walking except for the most confident bikers and walkers and those dependent on walking and biking for transportation. Although traffic deaths and serious injuries are generally declining, pedestrian and bicycle deaths are increasing across the country. Federal and state governments are increasing the emphasis on improving safety performance.

Vision Zero is a national movement creating holistic and encompassing policies to make streets safer for all users.
How do I get my local advocates and community members to support my Complete Streets efforts?

How do I get my local advocates and community members to support my Complete Streets efforts?

Active community engagement throughout all phases of Complete Streets development will help educate residents, property owners and users building support for the project. In creating a vision for implementing Complete Streets, policymakers have emphasized the benefits to public health and safety, sustainability, economic development, and equity.

Demonstration projects can help dispel myths, give the community an opportunity to test a mock-up of proposed Complete Street improvements, and build support.