Completing the Streets

Zoning Practice — February 2013

By Carol Gould, AICP, Mike Morehouse


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The responsibility for establishing a congruent interface between private land development and the public right-of-way is often hidden within a regulatory "twilight zone." This lack of clarity presents one of the greatest challenges to planners and policy makers striving to balance access with mobility and create a prosperous and livable community.

The term "complete streets" encompasses street design practices collectively aimed at the safety, mobility, and accessibility needs of users of all ages and abilities. With contemporary zoning practice focused increasingly on community character, landuse regulations need to address the concept of complete streets at the same time that they address how transportation serves as an element of that elusive "sense of place" often sought by municipalities.

This issue of Zoning Practice looks at what it means to complete the streets and provides some examples of how communities are doing this. It then explores how zoning can be used as a means to help communities facilitate the complete streets process.


Page Count
Date Published
Feb. 1, 2013
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Carol Gould, AICP
Carol Gould, AICP Senior Project Manager, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. Carol is a Senior Project Manager with the Community Planning Team at Fitzgerald & Halliday Inc. (FHI). Her 20+ years of experience at FHI has focused on community planning, including livable communities, transportation/land use connections, public involvement, parking planning, placemaking, and access management. Carol specializes in integrating land use and transportation planning to enhance community mobility and quality of life. She applies her planning and technical skills to a wide variety of projects, including corridor studies, smart growth projects, municipal plans of development, healthy communities’ initiatives, access management studies, parking studies, downtown studies and master plans. Carol has also provided expert testimony for municipalities, citizen groups, and developers on the interpretation and application of land use regulations vis-à-vis development proposals to local planning and zoning commissions.

Mike Morehouse