Boston Complete Streets

Complete Streets is part of our vision for creating streets and squares that are:

Multimodal: safe, comfortable, and accessible to all users
Green: Environmentally friendly, sustainable, and low-maintenance
Smart: Efficient and maximize technological advances.

The initiative recognizes that streets define the character of Boston’s neighborhoods and are the common ground where people travel, meet and do business on a daily basis.

Project Description

Boston Complete Streets was inaugurated by then-Mayor Thomas M. Menino in 2009, as a collaboration to develop new street design guidelines and implement projects informed with a new Complete Streets approach to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.  There is no singular design prescription for Complete Streets; each one is unique and responds to each community context.   Boston Complete Streets describes these best practices and recommendations for street designs that reflect our great city. 

The three-pronged approach incorporates a multimodal level of service (LOS) that informs roadway design to ensure that streets are shared by all users and not dominated by cars.  Livable communities also require an emphasis on green design elements that promote an environmentally sensitive, sustainable use of the public right-of-way.  Greener designs incorporate street trees, rain gardens, bio-swales, paving materials and permeable surfaces, with plants and soils collecting rain water to reduce flooding and pollution.   Lastly, smarter technology-assisted design elements incorporate intelligent signals, smart meters, electric vehicle sharing, car and bicycle-sharing, way-finding and social networks for greater system efficiencies and user convenience.

Complete Streets

For more information about the Complete Streets Initiative, please visit the Complete Streets website: