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Taking Bicycle Friendly Actions – Complete Streets in All 50 States

Since 1991, when federal funding was first provided for biking and walking, there has been a significant shift in how states and their Departments of Transportation plan, design, and operate streets. This shift has been strengthened as the number of states with a Complete Streets law, policy, or resolution expanded significantly in recent years. By now, most states have taken some step to express support for the concept of complete streets and many have acted to ensure complete streets will become a reality moving forward.

At the League of American Bicyclists, we think that every state should take responsibility for having complete streets – streets that plan for people of all ages and abilities and all modes of transportation. In 2017 we made a complete streets law, policy, or resolution one of our 5 Bicycle Friendly Actions featured in our Bicycle Friendly State program. As we work to create a state-by-state strategy to build a Bicycle Friendly America for Everyone, these 5 Bicycle Friendly Actions provide the building blocks for that strategy. 

Complete Streets laws, policies, and resolutions recognize that the transportation institutions in the United States were created for and cater to automotive travel. The planning, engineering, and operations practices that developed reflected an incomplete understanding of the people and modes of transportation that need a safe and functional transportation system. Complete Streets laws, policies, and resolutions can take many forms and have many different effects on a state, but each one is a step towards a more inclusive transportation culture that explicitly recognizes that transportation means more than automotive travel and that the state has an interest in ensuring safe transportation options for all modes of travel.

 Download the White Paper

To help the 17 states that have not yet taken an action to support complete streets, the League developed a short white paper to provide data, guidance, and examples to encourage states to adopt a Complete Streets Law, Policy, or Resolution.

If you are in one of those 17 states and you plan to pursue a law, policy, or resolution in an upcoming legislative session, please let us know so that we can support your campaign with our free-to-members advocacy software and media outreach.

Please use the white paper to advocate for complete streets adoption and implementation. If you are interested in using our advocacy software to support your efforts, please email Ken McLeod at [email protected].