Complete Streets

Complete streets — sometimes referred to as livable streets — are roadways designed for safe and convenient travel by users of all ages and abilities. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders must be able to safely move along and across a complete street.

Complete streets policies are recognized as an important element in achieving the region's goals of a comprehensive transportation system. These policies provide a planning and political framework for using transportation investments to ensure that rights of way are routinely designed and operated to enable safe access for all users.

Complete Streets Policy

MARC seeks to achieve the Kansas City region’s vision of a safe, balanced, regional multimodal transportation system that is coordinated with land use planning, supports equitable access to opportunities and protects the environment. This can be achieved by implementing complete streets and context-sensitive solutions. MARC promotes the development of complete streets throughout the region and encourages all local jurisdictions to adopt and implement complete streets policies.

The Complete Streets Policy applies to all MARC planning activities that involve public rights-of-way, including the metropolitan transportation plan and any activities conducted by MARC to program federal funds for projects in the Transportation Improvement Program.

Complete Streets Handbook

This complete streets policy handbook is a resource for local jurisdictions on how to adopt and implement complete streets policies in communities.

Complete Streets Network Assessment

The Complete Streets Network Assessment is a unique planning tool that attempts to measure the completeness of the region’s roadways. It shows how well a street supports multimodal travel, factoring in not only the infrastructure present to support walking, cycling, and public transportation, but also speed, street lights, and driveways. Viewing the results can show gaps in completeness within a corridor, or a lack of completeness for a whole corridor.

Only a subset of the region’s streets have been measured by this Assessment at this time. Additional streets and corridors are planned

Why design complete streets?

Improve public safety

By making roads more accessible for all modes of transportation, complete streets provide safe and convenient travel for persons of all ages and abilities, including children and the elderly.

Promote good health

Complete streets make active living easy by providing streets and sidewalks that encourage walking and biking. They build a physical environment where residents are connected and mobile.

Provide economic benefits

Complete streets create attractive transportation corridors that make businesses both inviting and easily accessible. Attractive corridors increase property value and visibility for both homes and business owners.

Enhance environmental quality

Not only do complete streets improve air quality by providing space that encourages low-emission travel, they include effective green infrastructure that retain and treat stormwater runoff and improve water quality. Also, complete streets provide landscaping elements that can reduce the heat island effect in urban communities.

Ensure long-term savings

Costs for complete streets might be more initially, but are offset by the many long-term benefits they bring. Complete streets may reduce construction and maintenance costs when roadways are narrowed and stormwater is more efficiently managed.