Capturing the Benefits of Complete Streets

Painted Intersection

City of Ft. Lauderdale Painted Intersection

Anecdotal information indicates that private investment and property value increases are associated with featured Complete Streets projects. However, to date, little research has been done to confirm these benefits. Much of the relevant literature focuses on very real and important improvements to the safety of all who use Complete Streets: pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and auto users. This work contributes to a small but growing body of literature that associates the implementation of Complete Streets projects with increased economic activity such as increased property values, tax collections, and increased business activity (such as new businesses and an increase in jobs). This work began by reviewing background information related to Complete Streets and examining how such projects may be evaluated. A set of case studies was identified, which included locations where Complete Streets projects had been recently implemented, but also that had been in place long enough to assess any changes in economic activity. The case studies are diverse, including a beach community, a smaller-area business district, and a larger city that included a major transit investment. Findings indicated that, despite the recent economic downturn, the Complete Streets performed well, demonstrating maintained and enhanced economic activity, often outperforming other nearby areas and their cities as a whole. This work showed that the benefits of Complete Streets projects can be numerous and expected to include enhanced economic activity.  Contact Victoria Perk at for more information.

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