Complete streets state laws & provisions: An analysis of legislative content and the state policy landscape, 1972–2018

  • Jamila Porter Safe States Alliance
  • Shenée Bryan Research and Evaluation Group
  • Joel Lee The University of Georgia College of Public Health
  • Phaedra Corso Kennesaw State University
  • Marsha Davis The University of Georgia College of Public Health
  • Stephen Rathbun The University of Georgia College of Public Health
Keywords: Complete Streets, state law, state legislation, built environment, pedestrian, bicyclist, legal mapping, transport policy, routine accommodation, policy surveillance


Across the U.S., states have adopted Complete Streets legislative statutes—state laws that direct transportation agencies to routinely design and operate roadways to provide safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit users. To date, there has not been a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the content and provisions of these laws. In this study, Complete Streets state statutes were identified using legal research databases. Using established legal mapping methods, a qualitative analysis was conducted of state laws that were effective through December 2018. A codebook and open-source data set were developed to support the public use of the data. Eighteen states and Washington, DC, have adopted Complete Streets legislative statutes. A total of 21 have been adopted, with 76% (n=16) of laws adopted since 2007. While the laws vary in content, detail, and specificity, several common provisions were identified across statutes. Complete Streets legislative statutes may be essential to ensure that road networks throughout states are safe, connected, and accessible for all users. This study provides key insights into the legislative landscape of Complete Streets state laws and makes available a new data set that can support future evaluations of these laws.


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How to Cite
Porter, J., Bryan, S., Lee, J., Corso, P., Davis, M., & Rathbun, S. (2019). Complete streets state laws & provisions: An analysis of legislative content and the state policy landscape, 1972–2018. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 12(1).