What: Polices designed to enable safe access for all users of roads
Why: These policies help ensure that engineers and planners consider all users of roadways including children, elderly, walkers, bicyclists, busses, wheel chairs and everything in between. In addition to making the roads safer for everyone, complete streets policies also make transportation more efficient, economical, reduce obesity, tie communities together, attract tourists, decrease pollution, and increase quality of life.
When are they used: During planning and design of roadways
Examples of multiple uses of roadways: Shared use paths, ramps for wheelchairs, bus shelters, bike lanes, bike boulevards, traffic calming, speed bumps, one way streets, bus only lanes, contra flow bike lanes, bike boxes, bicycle signal lights.
Wisconsin DOT has a great slideshow summarizing the Wisconsin State Complete Streets Law with examples, policy considerations and exceptions. La Crosse, WI (near the home of the first ever rail to trail conversion) implemented a complete streets policy in August 2011.