Date of Award


Document Type

Terminal Project

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)


Planning, Development and Preservation


Thomas Schurch

Committee Member

Timothy Green

Committee Member

Cliff Ellis


Complete streets is a recent term advocating for the accessibility and safety of all users of a roadway, encompassing values of universal design, sustainability, health, accessibility, and safety. It is also a partnership between engineers, transportation departments, urban planners, and designers. Over 600 complete street policies have been adopted as of this year, and dedicated street design guidelines are beginning to be published by the Department of Transportation of many larger cities; streets are becoming retrofitted to fit values such as traffic calming, road diets, multi-modal considerations and safety enhancements, along with improvements to the streetscape and pedestrian realm (sidewalk). Designing roads to meet all residents needs should “not require extra funds or extra time to achieve” if planned for in all phases (Laplante, McCann 2007). Despite this wave of roadway improvements encompassed by the complete streets movement, many streets in postindustrial, shrinking, or so-called “Rust Belt” cities throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states have not implemented complete street projects. No official “complete streets” projects exist in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, or Akron, Ohio despite legislative policies adopted by local and metropolitan governments. Even elements within complete streets, such as on-street bicycle lanes, are found in far fewer number than other cities. My proposal seeks to find the gap between implementation in postindustrial locations and how design guidelines recently adopted by other cities may hasten development of these streets, accounting for political obstacles and physical contexts such as wide right-of-ways on arterials no longer carrying peak traffic.

Additional Files

Gordos_ACSDG_MCRP_TP_2014_Part2.pdf (33017 kB)
Supplemental File