A Policy that will Help Us Plan Better

In early 2023, your MPO Transportation Policy Committee adopted a Complete Streets policy for our area. It is important for the MPO to have its own policy. An MPO Complete Streets policy means:

  1. Better defined priorities, which will help the MPO make sure money gets spent in ways that develop more Complete Streets.
  2. Better advocacy, because the MPO will get to make sure new projects adhere to Complete Streets standards.
  3. Better transportation for all, by focusing on the safety and comfort of all possible users at every project phase – plan, design, build, and maintain.

A Complete Streets policy allows the MPO to address any possible trade-offs that may exist when different street users are prioritized over others.

What are Complete Streets?

Complete streets are safe and work well for everyone – whether they walk, bike, ride, roll, or drive. We build complete streets by thinking about:

  • Everyone who might use the street (drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, bus riders)
  • What the area around the street looks like (urban, suburban, rural)
  • How busy the street is (neighborhood, cross-town, regional highway)
  • What destinations are nearby (schools, parks, shopping)

Because no two streets are the same, no complete street will look exactly like another. An urban complete street may include wide sidewalks, café tables, bike lanes, crosswalks and comfortable bus stops. A suburban complete street might have center medians, sidewalks, wide planting strips, and a buffered bike lane. In rural areas, a complete street may have a paved shoulder or a separated trail for biking and walking.

Why This Matters

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is encouraging communities all across the country to have Complete Streets policies. Policies are a proven effective tool for guiding how money gets spent and how priorities are planned for. Both the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) Council adopted their own Complete Streets policies in 2022. An MPO Complete Streets policy will streamline the transportation planning process. It will connect the efforts of the state and our urban-county government so that our streets work well for everyone in our community.

About 1/3 of our community either chooses not to drive or can’t drive because of age, ability or financial resources. Complete Streets makes sure there are safe, reliable, and convenient ways to get around no matter a person’s age, ability, income, or where they live.