Complete Streets Concepts Are Now Being Applied Worldwide

Dehli announced a major new Complete Streets program that will redesign urban roads to favor walking, cycling and public transport over car traffic. This is very good news. It shows that the Complete Streets concept is now being applied worldwide.,

2 minute read

October 23, 2015, 10:00 AM PDT

By Todd Litman


India Streets

Radiokafka / Shutterstock

I am a great advocate of Complete Streets, which means that urban roadways are designed to accommodate diverse users and uses, including walking, cycling, public transit, plus nearby residents and businesses, in addition to automobile traffic. This increases urban transportation efficiency and equity by ensuring that all travel modes are safe and convenient.

This is a major paradigm shift, a fundamental change in the way problems are defined and potential solutions evaluated, from automobile-oriented to multimodal. Complete Streets planning has been widely embraced by North American professional organizations such as the Institute of Transportation Engineers, but is not as well established in developing countries, at least, not yet. Delhi, India's new plan to redesign ten major city roads to favor walking, cycling and public transit over automobile travel is very good news. It shows that the Complete Streets concept is making inroads in India and other Asian countries. This is a huge change and an important opportunity for improving the safety and livabilty of all residents, particularly lower-income people who walk and bike. I hope this project is successful and becomes an example for other cities in India and around the world.

Asian planners have developed some terrific multi-modal roadway design resources:

Moving Dangerously, Moving Pleasurably: Improving Walkability in Dhaka; Using a BRT Walkability Strategy to Make Dhaka’s Transportation Infrastructure Pedestrian-Friendly by the Asian Development Bank.

Changing Course in Urban Transport- An Illustrated Guide by the Sustainable Urban Transport Project and GIZ.

Better Street, Better Cities: A Guide To Street Design In Urban India by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Mobility For All A Strategic Transportation Plan For Ranchi by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy for the Ranchi Mobility Partnership.

Walkability and Pedestrian Facilities in Asian Cities: State and Issues, Sustainable Development Working Paper, Asian Development Bank.

Safety, Sustainability and Future Urban Transport by the Eicher Group.

Working Group on Urban Transport Final Report by the National Transport Policy Development Committee, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India.

Pedestrian Design Guidelines: Don’t Drive…Walk by the Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi.

Walkability Asia supports walkability improvements in Asian countries.

Traffic & Transportation Policies and Strategies in Urban Areas in India by the India Ministry of Urban Development.

Environmentally Sustainable Transport For Asian Cities: A Sourcebook by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development.

Istanbul: An Accessable City – A City For People by EMBARQ Turkey .

These are world-class resources that should be useful to Complete Streets advocates everywhere. Congratulations to my colleagues in India. Well done and good luck!


Todd Litman

Todd Litman is founder and executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transport problems. His work helps to expand the range of impacts and options considered in transportation decision-making, improve evaluation methods, and make specialized technical concepts accessible to a larger audience. His research is used worldwide in transport planning and policy analysis.

Aeriel view of white sheep grazing on green grass between rows of solar panels.

Coming Soon to Ohio: The Largest Agrivoltaic Farm in the US

The ambitious 6,000-acre project will combine an 800-watt solar farm with crop and livestock production.

April 24, 2024 - Columbus Dispatch

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Workers putting down asphalt on road.

U.S. Supreme Court: California's Impact Fees May Violate Takings Clause

A California property owner took El Dorado County to state court after paying a traffic impact fee he felt was exorbitant. He lost in trial court, appellate court, and the California Supreme Court denied review. Then the U.S. Supreme Court acted.

April 18, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Texas

Dallas Surburb Bans New Airbnbs

Plano’s city council banned all new permits for short-term rentals as concerns about their impacts on housing costs grow.

1 hour ago - FOX 4 News

Divvy Chicago

Divvy Introduces E-Bike Charging Docks

New, circular docks let e-bikes charge at stations, eliminating the need for frequent battery swaps.

2 hours ago - Streetsblog Chicago

Freeway sign with "severe weather - use caution" over multilane freeway in rainy weather.

How Freeway Projects Impact Climate Resilience

In addition to displacement and public health impacts, highway expansions can also make communities less resilient to flooding and other climate-related disasters.

3 hours ago - Transportation for America

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Write for Planetizen

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.