Cleveland Heights recognized with 2018 best Complete Streets policy

Cleveland Heights was recognized nationally last week as the community with the best complete streets policy passed in 2018 by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America. Complete streets policies encourage planners and engineers to design and build streets that are safe and convenient for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.

Credit: City of Cleveland Heights  Master Plan,  2017

Credit: City of Cleveland Heights Master Plan, 2017

Complete Streets policies incorporate people and place in the planning into design, construction, and maintenance of the transportation network. For decades, street design has focused almost exclusively on ways to increase vehicular safety while largely ignoring the needs of other street users. Complete Streets policies advocate for context-specific redesigns that shift the priority away from cars to focus more holistically on every user of the transportation network. For more on Complete Streets, visit the National Complete Streets Coalition website.

The National Complete Streets Coalition evaluates new Complete Streets policies annually, ranking policies by an internal grading framework which emphasizes equity and implementation. This year, Cleveland Heights earned the highest grade of all 66 policies reviewed. See the top 10 Complete Streets policies from 2018 below, and read the full report here.

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Cleveland Heights joined 1,477 other communities when the city adopted a Complete Streets policy in May of 2018. Cleveland Heights’ policy places special emphasis on safety, calling for “multi-purpose streets that better accommodate walkers, cyclists and public transportation.” The city resolution additionally calls attention to a broader ecological redesign of roadways, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of transportation infrastructure by incorporating green strategies to reduce waste, stormwater runoff, and energy consumption. Read the full policy here.

For additional coverage on the Complete Streets rankings, see Green City Blue Lake blog and the Cleveland Plain Dealer