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Complete Streets Home
Background
What is a Complete Street?
Why Seattle Has a Complete Streets Policy
How Seattle Implements Complete Streets
Designing Safer Streets

Complete Streets in Seattle

Seattle’s Complete Streets policy is about creating and maintaining safe streets for everyone.  In 2007, the Seattle City Council passed Ordinance 122386, known as the Complete Streets ordinance, which directs Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to design streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and persons of all abilities, while promoting safe operation for all users, including freight.  This is the lens through which SDOT views our major maintenance and construction projects.

SDOT uses a rigorous, data-driven process to evaluate planned projects consistent with the Complete Streets policy.  The Complete Streets checklist is the tool SDOT uses to collect data and information about the status of the street and surroundings, as well as the details of the project, with a goal of identifying specific improvements that can be incorporated into the project to balance the needs of all users.

Our highest priority is safety.  As part of the quest to ensure that Seattle’s transportation facilities continue to be reasonably safe for ordinary travel, we are compelled to consider opportunities to improve safety.  There has been a great deal of research establishing a connection between street attributes and safety for road users.  For example, there is a strong correlation between crash speed and the severity of injuries.  Implementing Complete Streets projects is one way in which we improve safety for all road users.

Our second priority is mobility.  SDOT’s mission is to move people and goods safely and efficiently.  For example, we know that a bus moves more people than a single-occupant car, so we try to protect and promote transit mobility.  Especially on designated Major Truck Streets we must ensure that improvements considered support all modes, and are consistent with freight mobility.

For more information, contact: Susan McLaughlin (206) 684-0102.

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