Memphis Complete Streets Policy

On January 30th, 2013 the City of Memphis became the 500th jurisdiction in the United States to adopt a Complete Streets policy (see this article), taking its place as a prominent community in the national movement to reclaim streets for people, reexamine the public realm, and challenge some antiquated perceptions about transportation. The policy established a mandate for the development of a Street Design Manual to ensure the adoption of national best practices into routine procedures, and to provide technical support for the agency staff who led transportation projects for the community.

Complete Streets is an exciting approach to transportation planning, design, operations, and maintenance, which provides safe and accessible transportation options for Memphians of all ages and abilities, whether walking, bicycling, riding public transportation, or driving.

00_Introduction-page-001This document supports the achievement of the vision set forth in of the City’s Complete Streets policy. That is, the creation of an attractive, vibrant public realm that supports the diverse qualities of our
neighborhoods and provides a robust, balanced transportation network that is safe, financially responsible, serves all users, and considers multiple modes of transportation.

Realization of this vision depends on the routine application of Complete Streets principles in decision making, the establishment of performance metrics and evaluation, and a commitment to a coordinated project delivery process. This manual presents a structure for understanding and applying these concepts on an everyday basis, folding policy into practice.

This manual is divided into five chapters: Basis, Typologies, Geometrics, Amenities, and Processes. Each chapter provides information to assist planners, designers and decision makers in developing a new design approach to enable better and safer active transportation in their communities. The information is organized to facilitate the design process and to allow the reader to access relevant information at
various stages in the development of Complete Streets.

The development of this manual was supported by a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant for the Mid-South Regional Greenprint & Sustainability Plan, administered by the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability.