Complete Streets

Complete Streets are designed, built, and maintained to be safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities — whether they are walking, biking, taking transit, or driving. 

Complete Streets look different depending on the situation but may include:

  • Sidewalks or trails
  • Improved pedestrian crossings
  • On-street parking
  • Landscaping, such as trees and street lamps
  • Improved mobility for cars, buses, and commercial traffic due to turn lanes and streamlined road design
  • Bike lanes 

Hennepin County adopted its Complete Streets Policy (PDF) in 2009. As the first Minnesota county to adopt a Complete Streets policy, Hennepin recognized the importance of addressing the needs of transit riders, bicyclists and pedestrians along with the needs of motorists.

The National Complete Streets Coalition’s Policy Analysis Report recognizes Hennepin County as having one of the top policies in the nation. 

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Why Complete Streets?

The Complete Streets Policy helps the county:

  • Improve safety, mobility, accessibility, and convenience for all road users
  • Plan, design, operate, and maintain a network of roads that serve buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians as well as cars and commercial traffic
  • Increase opportunities for people to be physically active through walking and bicycling.  

Our Complete Streets policy complements other work at the county, including:

  • The Active Living initiative, which increases opportunities for people to integrate physical activity into their daily lives through policies and plans that encourage walkable communities and active transportation. 
  • The county Pedestrian Plan, which was adopted in September 2013 and focuses on increasing the safety of walking, increasing walking for transportation, and improving the health of county residents.
  • The county Bike Plan, which is currently being updated; adoption is planned by the end of 2014. 

Implementing Complete Streets

A Complete Streets Task Force began guiding policy implementation in 2011. The task force includes elected, appointed and staff representatives from the county and other government agencies, as well as the business community, advocacy organizations and community leaders.

As improvements along county roads are needed or being planned, the county will work with local and regional partners on the following:

  • Identify the needs (existing and future) of different transportation uses, including automobile, freight rail, transit, bicycle and pedestrian
  • Consider the character of the project area, such as natural features and land uses

Because of our approach, Complete Streets will look different depending on where the road is located, e.g., roads in Minneapolis versus roads in rural areas where farm equipment might be driven. Funding will also come from a variety of sources, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council and local municipalities.

Local Complete Streets Policies

In addition to the county Complete Streets policy, many cities in Hennepin County have adopted city level Complete Streets policies or resolutions.

Map of Complete Streets Policies in Hennepin County (PDF)

Each city worked to establish a Complete Streets policy to suit their needs:

Task force

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