Complete Streets get national boost. Which Chicago streets are leading the way? - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Complete Streets get national boost. Which Chicago streets are leading the way?

On Monday, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood issued a new policy statement calling for the inclusion of pedestrians and bicyclists in all transportation projects, with special attention paid to transit riders and people of all ages and abilities. The recommendations in this statement echo those in Complete Streets policies across the country.  With the federal Complete Streets Act of 2009 up for consideration, MPC is heartened by this monumental step toward the adoption of a national Complete Streets policy. 

Here are some of the ways the statement recommends integrating “complete streets” components in future projects:   

  • Consider walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure transportation choices for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Integrate bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on new, rehabilitated, and limited-access bridges.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling and track them over time.
  • Remove snow from sidewalks and shared-use paths.

Safe streets that are easy for all forms of traffic to use are essential for healthy communities.  We couldn’t have explained why any better than the USDOT’s policy statement:

“Increased commitment to and investment in bicycle facilities and walking networks can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities. Walking and bicycling provide low-cost mobility options that place fewer demands on local roads and highways.”

In light of this announcement, MPC wants to know: do you know of a great Complete Street in Chicagoland?


  1. 1. Mandy on March 18, 2010

    One of my favorite streets to walk down in Chicago is Lincoln, which is inviting for pedestrians along much of the route, but particularly in Lincoln Square. There's a stretch between Addison and Waveland Irving Park Road that could use some help, but I think it's because it crosses under both a set of Metra tracks and the L at that point. Wonder how they could make that experience better?

  2. 2. Lee from Chicago on March 19, 2010

    I've always thought Broadway in Lakeview is a pretty ideal street for pedestrains. And on a smaller scale, I love Rockwell by the Brown Line stop.

  3. 3. Annie from Hyde Park on March 20, 2010

    The block where I work, on 55th Street in East Hyde Park, is pretty perfect - there are bike sharrows and buses run late into the night, there are a lot of good restaurants and other little shops, the sidewalks are always alive with all sorts of people, and I always end up chatting with my neighboring shopkeepers or neighbors when I step out to sit a few moments on my milkcrate under the tree out front.

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