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Complete Streets

If a typical street is not complete, what makes 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 nearly all transportation projects 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 the following Complete Street projects:

  • Needham Connect II Project. This Safe Routes to School and Transportation Alternatives Program funded project included sidewalk and roadway improvements, and bicycle facilities along Columbine Drive from Cottonwood Drive to Clovis Drive. The project was awarded a $437,500 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. Construction of sidewalks and curb ramps was completed in 2020. Roadway improvements and landscaping will occur in 2021. 
  • College Drive and 8th Avenue Traffic Calming. This project will include the design and engineering, and construction of a road diet (reconfigure 4 traffic lanes to 3 lanes) along College Drive from East 2nd Avenue to East 8th Avenue and along East 8th Avenue from Santa Rita Drive to 8th Street. College and 8th was awarded a $779,883 Highway Safety and Improvement Program grant for the road diet. Project design is near completion and construction will commence in 2022. 

Read more from our Complete Streets Education Campaign!

Complete Streets make safer streets for walking, wheeling and biking to school. 
Ideas from across Colorado make FOR safer routes to school. Read more (PDF).

How do multimodal projects help move people? 
Implementing first and last mile connections. Read more (PDF).

Applying Context Sensitive Design principles to all roadway projects.
Context Sensitive Design (CSD) refers to roadway standards and development practices that are flexible and sensitive to community values. CSD allows roadway design decisions to better balance economic, social and environmental objectives. Read more.

Did you know?
Complete Streets are a defined policy in the City's Land Use and Development Code. Read more (PDF).

Safe transportation for everyone!
Complete Streets measures include promoting the FHWA's STEP program. Read more (PDF).

In the spotlight: College and 8th Traffic Calming
Design is close to complete and the project will be constructed in 2022. Read more here.

Complete Streets are for everyone!
If a typical street is not complete, what does make it a Complete Street? Read more (PDF).

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 (PDF).

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

To further strengthen the City's Complete Streets policy, the City is researching and proposing a Complete Streets Resolution which will be discussed later this year with the Multimodal Advisory Board.

For more information, please Email Multimodal or call (970) 375-4955.


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

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