Complete Streets Program


What are “complete” streets?

Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street.

Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their orientation toward building primarily for cars. Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation agencies routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users. Places with complete streets policies are making sure that their streets and roads work for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as for older people, children, and people with disabilities.

What it takes to make a street “complete” varies depending on many factors, so there’s no single definition. However, ingredients may include sidewalks, bike lanes (or wide paved shoulders), special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible transit stops, frequent crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, and more. A complete street in a rural area will look quite different from a complete street in a highly urban area. But both are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road.

Benefits of Complete Streets

Increased Transportation Choices: Streets that provide travel choices can give people the option to avoid traffic congestion, and increase the overall capacity of the transportation network.

Economic Revitalization: Complete streets can reduce transportation costs and travel time while increasing property values and job growth in communities. Improved Return on Infrastructure Investments: Integrating sidewalks, bike lanes, transit amenities, and safe crossings into the initial design of a project spares the expense of retrofits later.

Quality of Place: Increased bicycling and walking are indicative of vibrant and livable communities.

Improved Safety: Design and accommodation for bicyclists and pedestrians reduces the incidence of crashes.

More Walking and Bicycling: Public health experts are encouraging walking and bicycling as a response to the obesity epidemic. Streets that provide room for bicycling and walking help children get physical activity and gain independence.

Pasadena Street Design Guide

In 2015, the City of Pasadena adopted an updated Mobility Element of the City’s General Plan. The updated Mobility Element includes new goals and objectives, which address complete streets:

-Streets should reflect neighborhood character and accommodate all users.

-Complete Streets: Streets should accommodate all users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, skateboarders and scooters.

-Streets should reflect individual neighborhood character and needs, and support healthy activities such as walking and bicycling.

This Street Design Guide is the implementation mechanism of the City of Pasadena’s complete streets policy. Currently standards and ordinances associated with the design of streets are housed within existing municipal code and different City departments, such as Transportation, Public Works, and Planning.  In addition, some of the City’s common street design practices are not documented anywhere. This manual has gathered and reconciled existing policies and best practices to create a set of guidelines in support of the Mobility Element.

Pasadena Street Design Guide – March 2017 (pdf)
Appendix A: Existing Conditions (pdf)

Preferential Permit Parking

Preferential Parking Permit Procedures October 2014

Speed Humps Request

In the 1980s, the City installed speed humps on a number of residential streets. This process became part of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program in the early 1990s. By incorporating the installation of speed humps into a comprehensive program for addressing neighborhood traffic issues, the City gained the ability to improve traffic conditions in an entire area rather than on just one street.

Speed Hump Standards (pdf)
Revised Speed Hump Policies and Procedures – May 2011 (pdf)