EQUITABLE COMPLETE STREETS: Data and Methods for Optimal Design Implementation


The Complete Streets concept references roads designed to accommodate: (1) diverse modes, including walking, cycling, public transit, and automobile; (2) different users, e.g., affluent and low-income individuals, people with disabilities, and senior citizens; (3) and a mix of land uses such as office, retail, businesses, and residential to ensure streets are safe, balanced and inclusively support diverse economic, cultural and environmental uses. Today most of our streets are poorly designed and do not offer safe places to walk, bike, or take public transportation. Such streets are particularly dangerous for disadvantaged segments of the population, including people of color, older adults, children, and those living in low-income communities. Successful Complete Streets projects prioritize multi-modal transport systems and have been demonstrated to be effective in fostering more livable communities, increasing equity and improving public health. This project analyzes different components of Complete Streets design and use with the goal of creating fast, low-cost, and high impact (transportation) changes in our communities.

Universities and Sponsoring Organizations Involved

University of Maryland

Morgan State University

Principal Investigators

Cinzia Cirillo, UMD

Mansoureh Jehiani, MSU

Paul Schonfeld, UMD

Funding Sources and Amounts

USDOT: S120,000; UMD: S40,000 UMD; MSU: $20,000

Start Date

July 13, 2020

Expected Completion Date

Aug. 31, 2021

Expected Research Outcomes

Our results and our recommendations are expected to change the design practice of roads by integrating the needs of all users into everyday transportation planning and design practices. Transportation planners and engineers will be provided with technical support for designing more effective roads.

Expected Equity and Benefits of Implementation

The solutions proposed will be evaluated across different communities and population groups, including low-income, elderly, African American and Latinos. Outcomes from this project are expected to address systematic inequities in the accessibility to opportunities and services by disadvantaged segments of the population. Finally, we aim to provide training to students and professionals in the area of sustainable transportation infrastructure design.

Subject Areas

Complete Streets, Equity, Accessibility, Road Design, Optimization