Complete Streets

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, the LFUCG Council voted to adopt a Complete Streets policy. You can read below to learn more. You can also follow @lexbikewalk on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up here to stay updated on Complete Streets in our community!

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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.

What does having a Complete Streets Policy mean?

It means focusing on the safety and comfort of all possible users when we plan, design, build, and maintain our streets. A Complete Streets Policy formalizes the city’s commitment to ensuring people of all ages and abilities have safe, convenient, affordable and reliable ways of getting around. Lexington’s policy specifically covers each of the following: 

Our local vision and intent

The policy states our goal for Lexington’s transportation system: support the safety, health, economic wellbeing and good quality of life of all residents and visitors, no matter how they travel in our community. 

Recognizing diverse users and equity

People get around in different ways: by car, on foot, in a wheelchair, on a bike, using a scooter, taking the bus, and more. About 1/3 of our community doesn’t drive because of their age, ability, or because they choose not to. We need reliable alternatives. Our streets are also important for moving goods and delivering services. Emergency responders need our streets to do their job in our community. This policy recognizes all these different needs and users who deserve safe and convenient options for getting around. 

Our commitment to Complete Streets

The intention of this policy is to improve streets for everyone whenever we design, build, and maintain our streets. Incremental improvements are always possible and we should take advantage of every opportunity.

Clear and accountable exceptions to the policy

The policy describes the few situations where Complete Streets will not apply, and how a clear and transparent process must be followed in those cases.   

Jurisdiction of the policy

The policy explains how Complete Streets will apply across our streets. Those maintained by the city or the state, but also those built with public or private funds. 

Design guidance

The policy refers to the different best-practice design manuals our engineers should use when designing Complete Street projects.  

How Complete Streets and land use are related

The policy acknowledges that Complete Streets should blend well with the surroundings and that streets in areas where land is used differently may not look the same.

Prioritizing and selecting projects

The policy states that the city should consider safety, connectivity, equity, sustainability, and other Complete Street goals when prioritizing projects for funding.  

Implementing the policy

To implement the policy, a committee will develop a Complete Streets Action Plan with input from the public. The plan will include a to-do list to help us achieve Complete Streets and a timeline for completing those actions.   

Performance measures

The policy mandates that we evaluate our progress over time by tracking and reporting on ten different Complete Street metrics, all of which are important to Lexington. 

How can I get involved and learn more?

You can read the policy and send in any comments or questions here. Now that Council has adopted the policy, the next step is to create a Complete Streets Action Plan to guide how we create Complete Streets across our community. We will need your help and input on this action plan! Follow @LexBikeWalk on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up to stay informed.