Complete Streets Program

A complete street is a transportation facility that is planned, designed, operated, and maintained to provide safe mobility for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit vehicles, truckers, and motorists, appropriate to the function and context of the facility. Every complete street looks different, according to its context, community preferences, the types of road users, and their needs.


A complete street is a transportation facility that is planned, designed, operated, and maintained to provide safe mobility for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit vehicles, truckers, and motorists, appropriate to the function and context of the facility. Every complete street looks different, according to its context, community preferences, the types of road users, and their needs.

Deputy Directive 64-R2 (PDF) , first signed in October 2008, and renewed in October of 2014, directs Caltrans to implement complete streets.

“The Department provides for the needs of travelers of all ages and abilities in all planning, programming, design, construction, operations, and maintenance activities and products on the State Highway System.”  - Deputy Directive-64-R2

Benefits of complete streets include:

  • Increased Transportation Choices
  • Economic Revitalization
  • Improved Return on Infrastructure Investments
  • Livable Communities
  • Improved Safety for All Users
  • More Walking and Bicycling to Improve Public Health
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Improved Air Quality

Toward an Active California: State Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan

Caltrans adopted the state's first pedestrian and bicycle plan, Toward an Active California, in May 2017. Please click the Toward and Active California logo below to review the Plan.

Complete Streets Elements Toolbox (PDF)

The Smart Mobility and Active Transportation Branch is pleased to introduce the latest update to the Complete Streets Elements Toolbox!

The Complete Streets Elements Toolbox was developed by staff in coordination with a diverse group of Caltrans stakeholders- including staff from the Headquarters Divisions of Transportation Planning, Design, Traffic Operations, Local Assistance, Maintenance, Rail and Mass Transit, as well as a number of Complete Streets Coordinators at the District-level- to translate Complete Streets policy concepts into concrete project delivery assets. As such, the Toolbox is a focus on the specific roadway elements that can be designed and constructed to provide multi-modal mobility and access. For each of these elements, the Toolbox provides definitions and benefits, links to design guidance, project examples, and SHOPP Tool quantification methods.

The Toolbox is a living document that will be updated and improved over time. As such, we will accept comments regarding revisions, content that should be added to the Toolbox, and pictures of best practice Complete Streets examples.

For an overview of complete streets at Caltrans, take a look the online version of the Complete Streets Brochure (PDF) .

For a folded hard copy of the brochure, please contact the Smart Mobility Branch in the Office of Smart Mobility and Climate Change.

The Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan (CSIAP) 2.0 (PDF) , released in June 2014, identified 109 action items to further integrate Complete Streets into all Caltrans functions and processes.  Caltrans Smart Mobility and Active Transportation Branch monitored status of the actions items semi-annually through May 2018.

14 of the 109 action items were identified as ”High Focus Actions” - priority actions with the greatest potential to institutionalize Complete Streets implementation at Caltrans.  The figure below shows the final status of the High Focus actions as of May 2018.

When the plan was released in 2014, the 14 actions that were identified as “High Focus Actions” were thought to be the highest priority for integrating Complete Streets into Caltrans processes at the time. Following the release of the Caltrans 2015-2020 Strategic Management Plan (PDF) as well as many new pieces of legislation, it became evident that there were many other actions within the plan that were just as, if not more, vital to the goal of implementing Complete Streets at Caltrans. Therefore, the actions identified here as “High Focus Actions”, while still important, are not an exhaustive list of top Complete Streets priorities within the Department.

CSIAP 2.0 Actions Overall

Overall, 90% of the 109 total actions have been completed to date, including those identified as “High Focus Actions” Together, these actions made changes to help incorporate Complete Streets into Caltrans project development and delivery processes and procedures.

The remaining 10% of action items are in various stages of completion, largely due to the result of more stringent performance metrics for these actions identified in either the Caltrans Strategic Management Plan 2015-2020, or in new legislation. A portion of these remaining actions required adjusting direction midway through execution, and thus are reflected in the “Revised Direction” or “Re-Evaluating” percentages below.

An example of an action that had to revise direction due to legislative requirements was the Transportation Analysis Guide (TAG), currently on hold while Caltrans evaluates methodology and metrics that reflects Senate Bill 743's move to a Vehicle Miles Traveled. Similarly, efforts such as the District Level Active Transportation Plans and the District Vulnerability Assessment are reflected in the “Significant Progress” category, as both are well underway but not yet complete. 

Examples of High Focus Actions

  • Highway Design Manual Guidance Review and Update to address Complete Streets
  • Transportation Planning Scoping Information Sheet - Complete Street modifications
  • Strategic Highway Safety Plan Update – data driven approach for pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Completion and release of Toward An Active California, the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
  • Local Development-Intergovernmental Review (LD-IGR) Geobased Tracking System (GTS)
  • Complete Streets Overview Training -  two sessions for a total of 12 deliveries
  • Cal-B/C Module for Active Transportation Program applications
  • Main Street Guidance update

CSIAP Actions of Note:

Actions That Change Processes and Procedures

Actions that Include Significant Research, Data Collection, Training and/or Plans

  • 2016 National Household Travel Survey
  • UCTC Research and Symposiums
  • AASHTO Subcommittee on Design Support – Compare NACTO design Guide with ASSHTO policy.
  • Bike Box Data summary and Report on SR 227 in District 5
  • Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines
  • Interregional Transportation Strategic Plan, California Freight Mobility Plan, 2018 California State Rail Plan
  • District 4 Bike Plan
  • District 3 Complete Streets Plan
  • Caltrans Pacific Coast Bike Route policy for SHS
  • Map of SHS segments closed to bicycles
  • Bicycle Transportation: An Introduction to Planning and Design
  • CS components into PE Academy
  • Complete Streets in Maintenance Leadership Training
  • Policy on National Designated Bike Trails for inter - and intraregional connections

Click here for a full sortable list (XLSX) of actions and final status as of May 2018

CSIAP 2.0 downloadable and printable color Fact Sheet (PDF) .

Complete Streets Overview Training Course

In 2013, Caltrans Transportation Planning contracted with UC Berkeley Tech Transfer to develop and deliver a complete streets overview training course specifically for Caltrans employees in all functional units (Planning, Design, Traffic Operations, Landscape Architecture, etc). Partner Agencies and Native American Tribal Governments were also invited to attend the course.

Students taking this course gained an understanding of the complete streets approach and its application to all facets of Caltrans work. The first course began in January 2014. There were six course deliveries throughout the state in 2014-15 and a second set of six courses was delivered in 2015-16.

Future Complete Streets training needs are being evaluated. The Smart Mobility and Active Transportation Branch is collaborating with the Divisions of Traffic Operations and Designn to develop more technical training.

2015 Course Flyer (PDF)

Complete Streets Course Promotional Video*

2014 Course Flyer (PDF)

Complete Streets Technical Advisory Committee

The Complete Streets Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), a Caltrans staff working group, is intended to share information, raise issues, review draft products, share best practices, and recommend solutions relating to implementing complete streets. The TAC also assists with the monitoring and progress of the CSIAP 2.0 action items.

The TAC consists of representatives from each Caltrans division, functional unit, and district.

The TAC meets every other month and staff from the Division of Transportation Planning, Office of Smart Mobility and Climate Change arranges, hosts, and facilitates all meetings.


Quantifying Complete Streets Elements in the SHOPP Tool (PPTX)

District 6 Bicycle and Complete Streets Program