What and Why of Complete Streets In Utah

How does Utah define Complete Streets and what are the benefits?

Why Complete Streets? 

Streets are a valuable public asset to be shared by everyone regardless of their method of travel.  About seventy-five percent (75%) of the costs of streets in Utah are paid for by everyone through general funds rather than gas taxes*. 

One of the goals of Complete Streets is that streets should be safe for all permitted users and convenient for likely users when possible.

Streets are also a huge public asset in that they comprise about 30 percent of our urban spaces and the vast majority of our public spaces.  Streets can bring us together but they can also become community barriers.

What Are Complete Streets?

Complete Streets are policies, plans and procedures adopted by local jurisdictions and transportation agencies. They are fashioned by the very local jurisdictions and agencies that will be guided by them.

Policies and procedures that ensure that all users are considered each time a street investment is made.  All users include transit patrons, cyclists, and pedestrians of all abilities as well as freight.

These policies joined with robust, multi-modal network planning allow each community to uniformly weights the trade-offs of accommodating or not accommodating each type of user. 

Complete Streets policies are not a mandate to construct accommodations for all users but only to methodically consider accommodations for all users. Because each street is tailored to its circumstances, Complete Streets take a great many forms. 

The Complete Streets Principles adopted by the Wasatch Front Regional Council are as follows:

Benefits of Complete Streets

The Benefits of Complete Streets are many.  Some of the potential benefits  along with annotations are found in the one page WFRC flyer below: pdfCOMPLETE_STREETS_BENEFITS.pdf

An excellent PowerPoint by Smart Growth America briefly describing the benefits of Complete Streets:

The Many Benefits of Complete Streets from National Complete Streets Coalition

A fairly detailed discussion of potential Complete Streets benefits from San Diego California Chapter of the American Planning Association: pdfBENEFITS_ca-sandiego-policytopavement_BENEFITS.pdf