The Cape Cod Commission provides assistance to the towns of Barnstable County who seek to improve the travel experience for all users of streets – motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users – through the development of Complete Streets Prioritization Plans.
With funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), towns may retain the services of the Cape Cod Commission to develop Complete Streets Prioritization Plans.
The purpose of these studies is to explore transportation improvement alternatives that will reduce conflicts, improve traffic flow, and incorporate multi-modal transportation options while furthering the creation of vibrant, pedestrian- and bicycle-oriented mixed-use centers.
What is a Complete Street?
A Complete Street is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes – walking, biking, transit, and motorized vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities.
What does a Complete Street look like?
There is no single design for a Complete Street; designs vary by location to meet the community context. In some locations, particularly those with higher vehicle volumes or speeds, Complete Streets may include a dedicated space for pedestrians and bicyclists such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and/or side paths. In other locations, such as low-speed, low-volume local roads, shared space for all users may be appropriate.
What are the benefits of Complete Streets?
Broadly speaking, Complete Streets promote more livable communities. They improve safety, health, economic viability, and quality of life in a community by improving the pedestrian and vehicular environments and providing safer, more accessible, and comfortable means of travel between home, school, work, recreation, and retail destinations.
Complete Streets on Cape Cod
Complete Streets developed organically in the more historic places on Cape Cod with the pedestrian being the key users in mind with early road designs. In more recent times, automobile-dominated roadway designs have led to the building of some roadways that are not well-suited or safe for all roadway users.
Incorporating Complete Streets elements in Cape roadways, in a context-sensitive way, was the focus of the 2012 Cape Cod Commission publication Complete Streets/Living Street: A Design Manual for Cape Cod.
More recently, the concept of Complete Streets has been adopted by many municipalities on Cape Cod. The following Cape Cod towns have adopted a Complete Streets Policy, formalizing the consideration of accommodation of all road users in roadway design:
- Eastham (December 2016)
- Sandwich (March 2017)
- Mashpee (June 2018)
- Brewster (January 2020)
- Orleans (January 2020)
- Harwich (January 2020)
- Falmouth (January 2020)
- Bourne (September 2020)
- Provincetown (October 2021)
- Barnstable (January 2022)
The key principle of these polices is that the needs of all roadway users should be considered whenever work is done on municipal roadway. The policies do not require specific design features nor require changes that would be in conflict with local character.