Last night the City of Austin's Design Commission was briefed on the 'Complete Streets Policy'. For those of you not familiar, 'Complete Streets' is organized by the group 'Smart Growth America' and it's goal is to ensure that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
There is no singular design prescription for Complete Streets; each one is unique and responds to its community context. A complete street may include: sidewalks, bike lanes (or wide paved shoulders), special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent and safe crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, narrower travel lanes, roundabouts, and more.
A Complete Street in a rural area will look quite different from a Complete Street in a highly urban area, but both are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road. Check out our ‘Many Types of Complete Streets’ slideshow to see examples from across the country. 'Smart Growth America'
As Austin architects we're excited about the positive effects this improved infrastructure will have on the adjacent communities and their buildings. Better designed transportation options as well as safer and friendly streets will promote stimulating and healthy architectural development. Because of this, we at Element 5 Architecture look forward the success of the Complete Streets program here in Austin.