Partnership Moves Community Toward Complete Streets


      The Partnership for Active Communities brought together multidisciplinary organizations to create a 5-year project to support increased walking and bicycling in the Sacramento CA area.


      Using a community action model, the partnership focused on programs and promotions to expand walk- and bike-to-school programs. The partnership focused on policy and physical projects in conducting systematic reviews of development projects to influence land use. A comprehensive communications plan united diverse partnership interests to advocate for Complete Streets policy change and improve transportation infrastructure.


      Walk- and bike-to-school programs grew, and community-design workshops helped leverage more than $12 million in additional support, including Safe Routes to School grants. The partnership delivered more than 150 project reviews to city planners, architects, and developers with recommendations for improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and many positive changes resulted. Complete Streets is now included as a policy in the region's transportation plan, in the mobility element of the city's updated general plan and the county's draft circulation plan, and in the regional transit master plan.

      Lessons learned

      The partnership's communications plan linked partners with diverse interests to produce a powerful advocacy network to influence adoption of Complete Streets policies. Project development reviews were most successful in communities that allowed comments at a conceptual stage in the process.


      The Partnership for Active Communities produced increased public and agency awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety issues and influenced considerable changes to policies and the physical environment in the Sacramento area.
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