Creating Complete Streets
In the past, transportation planning focused on designing roadways primarily for the efficient movement of vehicles.The continued rise in car use, along with increasing intensification and urbanization, has resulted in heavier traffic congestion, reduced air quality, rising infrastructure costs and limited options for alternate modes of transport such as walking, cycling and transit. These negative impacts have prompted a shift in how transportation networks are planned and operated.
In order to create sustainable and attractive transportation systems, more roadways are now being designed with consideration for the needs of all users and not just those in vehicles. The latest Regional Official Plan (ROP) and Transportation Master Plan (TMP) reflects this new direction by promoting a transit-and pedestrian-first approach to the planning and design of the Region’s roadways.
What are Complete Streets?
The term 'complete streets' refers to the practice of designing streets that are safe for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists. This includes features such as improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and amenities, dedicated transit lanes and traffic calming measures to reduce speed. Of equal importance, complete streets also recognize that roads are part of the community and therefore must reflect the natural and cultural heritage of the area; this is often achieved by streetscape design.
Creating complete streets is one of the ways that the Region will achieve its sustainability objectives identified in the Regional Official Plan and the Transportation Master Plan. Complete streets are designed to:
- Increase mobility through accessible and efficient connections and dedicated facilities for all users
- Increase universal accessibility by creating safe and connected streets for users of all ages and abilities
- Create sustainable, vibrant, safe, and liveable places that reflect the local community
- Improve the environment and encourage physical activity through support for alternate modes of transportation
Over the next few years, the Region will be developing additional policies and guidelines to help implement complete streets throughout the Region.
What’s New in Creating Complete Streets
For information on the South Yonge Street Corridor Streetscape Master Plan, the Dufferin Street project and other news from the Streetscape Program, click on the following links: