Complete Streets

On January 6, 2011, the Board of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission adopted a Complete Streets Policy. The MVRPC Complete Streets Policy encourages improvements to the transportation network so that all users are able to safely and conveniently reach their destinations along and across a street or road, regardless of their chosen mode of transportation, age or ability level.

When projects are funded with regionally-controlled federal funds, all projects must accommodate all users or apply for an exception to the Complete Streets Policy.  To learn more about the Complete Streets philosophy and for an extensive list of resources, visit the National Complete Streets Coalition’s website.   

The National Complete Streets Coalition’s Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2011 ranked MVRPC’s Policy as the top Metropolitan Planning Organization Complete Streets policy in the nation, awarding it a total of 88 out of a possible 100 points.

Complete Streets Defined 

For the purpose of developing a policy, Complete Streets are defined by this outcome: All current and projected users of the public right-of-way must be able to safely and conveniently reach their destinations along and across a street or road, regardless of their chosen mode of transportation, in order for that street or road to be considered "complete." "All users" include: pedestrians, cyclists, transit and school bus riders, people with disabilities, motorists, freight haulers, service personnel, and emergency responders. “All users” includes a wide range of ages from school-aged children to the elderly.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage improvements to the transportation network so that more and more streets and roads in the Miami Valley meet this definition, and to encourage future designs which accommodate all users, thereby creating an increasingly safe and accessible transportation network for all modes and users. The policy affects future rounds of project solicitations for the Surface Transportation Program and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality funds through MVRPC’s transportation planning process. This chart explains how the policy relates to the project evaluation process.

Complete Streets Policy Development

MVRPC staff solicited volunteers from the MVRPC Technical Advisory Committee and Board, and invited advocates for a variety of road users to participate in the committee. Thirty-three individuals and four staff were asked to attend five (5) meetings between March and October of 2010. The goal of the committee was to develop a “meaningful and flexible regional complete streets policy.”

Because this is a regional policy, it must be flexible enough to be applied in urban, suburban and rural settings. In order to be meaningful, the policy must consider the needs of all users of the public right-of-way in a fashion that is context sensitive; that is, that takes into consideration surrounding land use, the type and amount of traffic, current and projected demands from various users and other factors.  For more information about MVRPC’s Complete Streets policy, contact Matt Lindsay or call 937.531.6535.