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Complete Streets: Guide to Answering the Costs Question. Companion Presentation, Part 2. 1. Complete Streets can be achieved within existing budgets. Use with: concerned or receptive transportation professionals, engaged officials.

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Use with: concerned or receptive transportation professionals, engaged officials

Complete Streets can be achieved withinexisting budgets.

simple low cost high impact
Simple, Low-Cost, High-Impact

Greater Greater Washington

simple low cost high impact1
Simple, Low-Cost, High-Impact

Greater Greater Washington

low cost high impact new york city
Low-Cost, High-Impact: New York City

In almost all improved areas, fatalities and pedestrian crashes decreased in by 9 - 60%.

New York City traffic fatalities fell to an all-time record low.

low cost high impact new york city1
Built many low-cost facilities:

35 pedestrian refuge islands

55 new left turn lanes

12 curb extensions

8 median tip extensions

4 pedestrian fences

600 re-timed intersections

Low-Cost, High-Impact: New York City user bicyclesonly

low cost high impact new york city2
In 2011, the city DOT spent $2 million dollars to fill additional potholes.

That’s more than it spent out of its own budget over THREE years for its bicycle program.

Low-Cost, High-Impact: New York City

New York City DOT

low cost high impact san diego
$20,000 provides access to a low income neighborhood’s only park.

$4,500 enhances safety and calms traffic at an intersection.

Low-Cost, High-Impact: San Diego

Andy Hamilton

Andy Hamilton

lost cost high impact redding california
Recent reconstruction project:

6 curb extensions +

2 median islands =


Friendlier and safer street, only 13% of total budget

Lost-Cost, High-Impact: Redding, California

Sergio Ruiz


"When we talk about ‘Complete Streets,’ we aren’t necessarily talking about expensive widening projects or major redesigns of our roadways. These concepts can often be applied to existing streets by simply re-thinking how we approach traffic flow and how we accommodate all modes of transportation.”– Phil Broyles, Director of Public Works, Springfield, Missouri

City of Milwaukee

think ahead think smart
Complete streets can save money.

Narrower travel lanes require less land, less pavement

Provide more options = reduce need for widening some intersections

Do it right the first time, not when forced to later—at a higher price

Think Ahead, Think Smart
colorado springs colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado

City of Colorado Springs

Maintenance and operations activities:

Repave 3% of road network each year

Convert 4 auto lanes to 2 bike lanes + 3 auto lanes

saving money lee county florida
Re-examined 5 road-widening projects

Found widenings unnecessary

$58.5 million savings

Saving Money: Lee County, Florida

Andy Callahan

saving money richfield minnesota
Needed to replace road after necessary sewer work

Priced at $6 million to replace road as is

Mn/DOT re-evaluated transportation needs and found no need for wide roadway

Reallocated road space for all users, saved $2 million

Saving Money: Richfield, Minnesota
saving money charlotte north carolina
Changing roadway striping during restriping ≈ just 15% of total project.

Safely narrowing width of travel lanes saves about 2% of project costs.

Saving Money: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte DOT

saving money washington state
500 miles of the state highway system are ‘main streets.’

Over ten years, 47% of projects on these streets had scope, schedule, or budget changes resulting in delay.

Saving Money: Washington State

Washington DOT

saving money washington state1
Pilot project consulted community ahead of time.

Complete Streets planning could have saved an average of $9 million per Main Street project – about 30% – in reduced scope, schedule, and budget changes over the last 10 years.

Saving Money: Washington State

Washington DOT

saving money brown county wisconsin
Re-evaluated needs on four-lane road

Instead created three-lane street with two bike lanes

Replaced traffic signals with roundabouts

Savings: $347,515, 16.5% below the original project estimate.

Saving Money: Brown County, Wisconsin

“Implementation of Complete Streets goals can actually keep costs at acceptable levels and save money, while adding more public benefits and return on investment.”

– Scott Bradley, Director of Context Sensitive Solutions, Minnesota Department of Transportation userMamichan

"The [Complete Streets] processes that we are going through now in project development should lead to fewer changes in construction by addressing the issues upfront. If you are properly going through the project development process, you should have lower costs, fewer change orders, and fewer delays because people are not coming out during the construction phase to demand changes.”

– Thomas DiPaolo, assistant chief engineer for MassDOT

“This [Complete Streets policy] puts the framework in place that allows the city to start with a project in the design phase and include these multi-modal recommendations. It will be at a much lower cost than tearing up something that’s already in place.”

– Michael Leaf, Transportation Commission, Highland Park, Illinois user Zol87

incremental changes big impact
Road diets

Combining projects to lower costs

Incremental approach: make it better each time you touch it

Simply thinking about small improvements

Incremental Changes, Big Impact
variable total costs north carolina
Variable Total Costs: North Carolina

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

variable total costs north carolina1
Variable Total Costs: North Carolina

Bike Lanes


12 -> 11’ Lanes

Source: NCDOT

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

variable costs charlotte north carolina
Variable Costs: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Costs vary:
    • Terrain
    • Adjoining land use
    • Scope

Sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. are small %age of total cost


“[Protected bike lanes] are dirt cheap to build compared to road projects.”

– Gabe Klein, Commissioner, Chicago DOT

Steven Vance

“The advantage of inserting a dialogue about all users at the earliest stages of project development is that it provides the designers and engineers the best opportunity to create solutions at the best price.”

- James Simpson, Commissioner, NJDOT