Complete Streets | Plans + Projects | Our Work

Complete Streets

An example of an urban complete street.
An example of an urban complete street: 10-foot sidewalk, 6-foot parking, 5-foot bike lane, 10-foot travel lane for cars and 12-foot travel lane for buses and trucks.

Complete Streets

Pedestrians and bicyclists share the Bay Area’s streets and roads with cars, trucks and buses.

To make urban roadways more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, a new design approach known as Complete Streets has emerged over the past decade.

While there is no standard template, common elements typically include:

  • Bike lanes
  • Sidewalk bike racks
  • Transit stops
  • Pedestrian signals
  • Street trees
  • Curb ramps

By incorporating these elements into Complete Streets, MTC and other transportation agencies help ensure that people of all ages and abilities can use the street safely.

Tools for Quick Build Projects

  • Emerging Street Types: Explore new uses for the public right-of-way, such as “streateries,” bikeways, essential places and shared/slow streets
  • Operational Strategies: Help pedestrians cross streets more safely
  • Quick Build Materials: Intervention objects that horizontally and vertically delineate space for safety, connectivity and access for all users

MTC has long embraced the Complete Streets concept.

The Commission adopted a resolution in 2006 to accommodate travelers who walk and bike as part of project planning and design work.

This led to development of a Complete Streets checklist which Bay Area cities and counties must use when they apply for regional funding.

Complete the checklist or view the checklist guidance PDF 

For assistance, contact Kara Oberg, MTC, at or (415) 778-6719.

In 2008 Caltrans recognized biking, walking and transit as integral elements of the state transportation system.

A Federal Highway Administration review found pedestrian safety is improved by:

  • Streets with sidewalks
  • Raised medians
  • Optimal bus stop placement
  • Traffic-calming measures
  • Accommodations such as curb ramps for disabled travelers

The cost of upgrading to a Complete Street can vary widely from project to project.

On average, costs for Complete Streets projects tend to run 15 percent to 25 percent higher than for projects without these enhancements.

This includes both pavement elements such as a bike lane, and non-pavement elements such as street furniture and plantings.