scenic picture from Washington state
SubjectsPlanning › Complete Streets
Updated 05/2013

Complete Streets



Complete streets programs integrate pedestrian and bicycle facilities into a balanced transportation system.  Walking and bicycling play key roles in developing healthy communities that support physical activity. Complete street policies integrate the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and riders of public transit into transportation planning. Laws of 2011, Ch. 257 established a complete street grants program. The legislation states:

Urban main streets should be designed to provide safe access to all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and public transportation users. Context sensitive design and engineering principles allow for flexible solutions depending on a community's needs, and result in many positive outcomes for cities and towns, including improving the health and safety of a community. It is the intent of the legislature to encourage street designs that safely meet the needs of all users and also protect and preserve a community's environment and character.

This page provides information on planning and designing safe facilities for complete streets programs. Companion pages include information on bicycle and pedestrian facilities, developing a sidewalk program, information about crosswalks, bicycle-related topics include bicycle safety, helmet requirements, and bike rack programs. For information on active community programs, see MRSC's pages on Healthy Communities.

Policy Guides for Designing Facilities for Bicycles and Pedestrians

Guides for planning and designing facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists are available from the the federal and state departments of transportation and from organizations promoting complete streets.

Designing Complete Streets

The following publications provide general information on the planning and design of complete streets. For information on designing for bicycles and pedestrians, see the MRSC page on Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities (under development).

Complete Streets Policies and Plans 

This section includes links to complete streets and bicycle and pedestrian plans and policies from jurisdictions in Washington and other states.

Washington Jurisdictions

Out-of-State Jurisdictions

Need more information?

Feel free to Ask MRSC. Washington cities, counties, and our contract partners can call or email MRSC for more information and advice - free of charge.