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Benefits of Complete Streets in Ames


Wide streets can be unpleasnat, or worse, unsafe, for anyone traveling along or across via foot or bicycle. Many trasportation users may be discouraged by long waits in inadequate bus stops of by dangerous street crossings.

  • Improving intersections for pedestrian safety can reduce the time needed for a pedestrian crossing signal, keeping vehicular traffic flowing.

  • 43 persent of people with safe places to walk within 10 minutes of home met recommended activity levels. Residents are 65 percent more likely to walk in a neighborhood with sidewalks.

  • Road diets result in increased bicycle and pedestrian traffic with a decrease in collisions and only a 10 second increase in travel delay for automobiles.

  • More children are likely to walk or bike to school when sidewalks and footpaths are present, when there are safe street crossings, and when reduced vehicle speeds are enforced in school zones.

  • Parents cite traffice as the primary reason for driving children to shcool. Complete Streets offers a safe environment for children to walk or bike to school, reducing 7 to 11 percent of the non-commuting vehicle traffic during morning rush hour.


32 percent of adults are obest. The number of obese or overweight American children nearly tripled between 1980 and 2003. 55 percent of the U.S. adult population falls short of recommended activity guidelines.

  • Complete Streets provide opportunities for increased physical activity by incorporating features that promote regular walking, cycling, and transit use.

  • People in walkable neighborhoods do about 35 to 45 more minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week and are substantially less likely to be overweight or obese than similar people living in low-walkable neighborhoods.

  • Nearly one-third of transit users meet the Surgeon General's recommendations for minimum daily exercise through the daily travels.

  • The more sidewalks, transits stops, and bicycle facilities available within a community, the higher the activity level of residents.

  • Complete Streets creates safe spaces for older adults to walk or bike as exercise, helping them achieve a healthier lifestyle.


The transportation sector is the fastest growing carbon dioxide source in the United States. More efficient fuels and "clean" vehicles won't be enough to offset the projected increase in driving between now and 2030.

  • Complete Streets mitigate harmful effects on water quality and quantity, which necessitate expensive drainage and treatment systems to control water runoff from the large swathe of impervious pavement.

  • Landscaping elements that help curb stormwater runoff--bioswales, planters, rain gardens, and street trees--are increasingly found to be important deterrents of crashes and injuries, and contribute to a more comfortable and visually interesting environment for all users.

  • Walking and bicycling for the shortest trips (less than 1 mile) could reduce CO2 emissions by 12 to 22 million tons per year in the U.S.


Transportation is the second largest expense for most American households, costing more than food, clothing, and healthcare. The vast majority of this money is for the purchase, operation, and maintenance of automobiles.

  • Complete Streets are more cost effective than the alternative--streets made for cars only--which improve the overall health of the community in the long-term. 

  • Complete Streets reduce infrastructure costs by requiring far less pavement per user.  This saves money at the onset of the project and reduces maintenance costs over the long-term.

  • Better bicycle infrastructure can and has created jobs directly in Wisconsin, Oregon, and Colorado through increased tourism, bicycle manufacturing, and retail.

  • Making our streets safe and convenient for walking, riding a bike, or taking transit can help families save money on transportation and relieve strained budgets.

  • The average household would save $9,790 by switching to public transportation each year.

  • When roads are designed to attract pedestrieans, the local economy improves and diversifies from increased buyers.


The last half-century has created incomplete streets, those without safe places to walk, bike, or take public transportation. Such streets are particularly dangerous for popole of color, older adults, children and those living in low-income communities.

  • Complete Streets provide multiple mobility options, allowing everyone to travel to and from work, school, and other destinations with the same level of safety and convenience, whether or not they have mobility, vision, or cognitive disabilities.

  • Complete Streets allows the one-third of Americans who do not drive multiple mobility options, unlike streets designed only with cars in mind.

  • Many people of color are less likely to own cars than white people. They walk for more trips, are four time more likely to commute by transit, and place more importance on street design features that support multimodal travel.

  • Complete Streets makes travel more efficiant by providing choice not only in modes, but also in routes; creating an interwoven array of streets that emphasize different modes and provide quality accessibility for everyone.

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