"Complete Streets" Create Safer, More Versatile Streets

Since 1962, National Transportation Week has spread awareness about the transportation industry, as well as the appreciation of transportation professionals who keep our country moving. To celebrate this year's holiday, May 12 through 18, let's look at the Complete Streets initiative which is affecting neighborhoods across the U.S.

A Complete Streets policy ensures that roadway design makes transportation easily accessible for all modes of transportation—vehicles, bicycles, public transportation, and pedestrians. Whether renewing a city, easing traffic congestion, or improving pedestrian safety, a Complete Streets project can utilize several improvements—updating crosswalks and adding bulb-outs for pedestrians at intersections, adjusting travel and bus lanes, creating clearly marked bike lanes, and adding public transportation stops are just a few options.

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Supporting "Complete Streets" Initiatives in New Jersey

Recently, we provided design and construction services to revitalize the downtown district of Woodbury, New Jersey; improving infrastructure and pedestrian safety for a mile-long stretch of Route 45. The city wanted a more viable commercial center and the Complete Streets project played a vital role in helping them achieve their goal. To support the city's urban revitalization, we modified the lane configuration throughout the central business district from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a center left turn lane, as well as dedicated left turn lanes at signalized intersections. This modified lane configuration calms traffic, lowers speeds, and helps draw drivers' attention to retail shops. Additionally, we provided ample parking and increased walking space to encourage shopping.

To improve infrastructure and increase pedestrian safety, we reduced the roadway from four to three lanes, added new bicycle lanes and pedestrian overpasses, updated pedestrian crosswalks and signage, and added ADA accessible ramps to ease traffic, making it safer for all modes of transportation.

"Complete Streets" Growing in Popularity

More and more communities are adopting Complete Streets initiatives to give people flexible transportation options. Currently, more than 490 Complete Streets policies are in place around the country, according to a report released by The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America.

The Complete Streets policy is growing in popularity because of its flexibility. It can be adopted by small rural towns or large bustling cities—two places with very different needs. While each design may have different elements, the overall goal remains the same—balancing safety and convenience for a variety of travelers.

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