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Complete Streets
If a typical street is not complete, what does make it a Complete Street?

Complete Streets, as defined by Smart Growth America, are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easier to cross the street, walk to shops and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safer for people to walk to and from transit stations.

Complete Streets rendering for Las Tunas Drive in Temple City, CA.

Creating Complete Streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to roadway design. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, as within City of Durango's Land Use and Development Code communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right-of-way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and transit users - making Durango a better place to live.

A Complete Street is a traffic calming feature. The design elements of a Complete Street, such as road diets, neighborhood traffic circles, roundabouts and protected bike lanes, may be introduced one at a time to make spot improvements street-by-street, or they may be implemented on an area-wide basis, with multiple streets treated at the same time with suitable traffic calming treatments. However, spot treatments are not as effective as area-wide improvements, according to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Traffic Engineering Handbook, because they tend to simply shift traffic problems from one neighborhood street to another (2009, p.534).

The City of Durango is investigating the implementation of traffic calming features in order to provide a safer environment for all users by enhancing drivers' ability to see, increasing the available time needed to react, diminishing severity of crashes and reducing incidence of drivers overtaking cyclists. If it is determined that traffic calming features are appropriate as a multimodal transportation enhancement, the City will host public processes to determine where and how they can be implemented.

Traffic calming features can have the following benefits:
  • Reduced motor vehicle speed.
  • Decrease the likelihood that crashes will occur, by increasing drivers' response time and minimizing motor vehicles overtaking movements.
  • Decrease likelihood of an injury resulting from a crash.
  • Improve bicyclist level of comfort and benefit pedestrians and residents by reducing traffic speeds along the corridor.
  • Establish and reinforce bicycle priority on roadways.
  • Provide opportunities for landscaping and other community features such as benches, message boards, and colored pavement at an intersection, benefiting all roadway users and residents.

The final Multimodal Transportation Plan and all associated projects adhere to the City's Land Use and
Development Code (LUDC), in particular all Complete Streets Policy from Chapter 4: Site Design and NaturalResource Stewardship. An example of an implemented Complete Street in Durango is Florida Road, which features bike lanes, reduced travel lanes, a shared-use path and a neighborhood roundabout.

The City is currently in the process of implementing several Complete Street projects which include the following:
  • Needham Connect II Complete Street. This Safe Routes to School project will include design and engineering for Columbine Drive as a Complete Street from Cottonwood Drive to Clovis Drive, including sidewalks and bicycle facilities. Beginning in early 2017, design and engineering will be underway for the Needham Connect II project, which was awarded a $506,140 Safe Routes to School grant and a $690,240 Transportation Alternatives Program grant. The local match is secured with 2015 half-cent sales and use tax funds. Design and engineering is expected to be completed by December 2017, construction to be completed by December 2018.
  • College Drive and 8th Avenue Traffic Calming. This Complete Streets project will include the design and engineering of a road diet (reconfigure 4 traffic lanes to 3 lanes) for College Drive from East 2nd Avenue to East 8th Avenue and for East 8th Avenue from Santa Rita Drive to 8th Street. Protected bike lanes are being considered as a part of this project.
  • 25th and Junction Street Connect Re-striping and Signage. The 25th and Junction Street roadway from West 2nd Avenue to the City limits will be re-striped with bike lanes and a lane reconfiguration in 2017 and 2018. The first phase in 2017 will repave and re-stripe Junction Street from Virginia Street to the City limits. The next phase in 2018 will include the installation of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) at West 2nd Avenue for a safer pedestrian crossing.

Read more from our Complete Streets Education Campaign!

How do reduced lanes affect busy streets? What's a road diet? Quite simply, "a road diet is anytime you take any lane out of a road" says traffic calming expert Dan Burden. Read more

Do bike lanes belong on major roads? Ensuring a comfortable place to ride for all cyclists. Read more

Example of a Complete Street from a rendering in the AARP Bulletin.