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Complete Streets

“Complete Streets” is the concept that streets should be planned, designed, operated and maintained to support safe travel of all kinds: walking, bicycling, riding the bus, and driving, by people of all ages and abilities. Depending on the street’s characteristics and land use context, Complete Streets may include sidewalks, crosswalks, paved shoulders, bicycle lanes, bus pull-outs, traffic calming measures, or other features. Complete Streets support local businesses, promote economic development, improve health and safety, and make our communities more inviting.

In 2016, the Dutchess County Legislature adopted a Complete Streets Policy. The policy applies to transportation-related elements of projects involving County property (including roads, parks, and buildings), as well as public and private projects over which the County Department of Public Works has permitting authority. 

More than 1,200 municipalities, counties, and states across the country have adopted Complete Streets policies, including ten other counties in New York. Locally, the Town of Fishkill adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2013 and the City of Beacon adopted Complete Streets guidelines in 2016. New York State passed a Complete Streets Act in 2011.

Why a Complete Streets Committee?

Walk Bike Dutchess, the Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan for Dutchess County, recommended the creation of an inter-departmental Complete Streets Committee to develop a Complete Streets policy for Dutchess County and to promote walking and bicycling. The committee includes staff from Planning & Development, Dutchess County Transportation Council, Public Works, Behavioral and Community Health, Office for the Aging, Division of Public Transit, Traffic Safety Board, and the Sheriff's Office. Transportation Council staff coordinate the committee and serve as a liaison between County departments and with local municipalities, NYSDOT, and others. The committee meets every 2-3 months.

The committee shares resources and ideas to promote walking and bicycling in the county, building on efforts including the Department of Health’s Declaration of Wellness, the Healthy Communities Trail Map Series, and the Planning Department’s Greenway Connections and Centers and Greenspaces concepts. Our products are listed below.


Dutchess County Complete Streets Policy (.pdf) (includes County Legislature Resolution)

Complete Streets Vision Statement

The committee developed the following Vision for Complete Streets in Dutchess County:

Dutchess County shall strive to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain its streets, bridges, bus system (buses, stops, shelters, etc.), parks, trails, and buildings to promote safe, comfortable, efficient, and convenient travel for people of all ages and abilities, and for all types of transportation, including walking, bicycling, riding the bus, and driving, to the greatest extent possible. Over time, these facilities will be integrated into a countywide network that promotes the health, safety, environment, and economic vitality of Dutchess County and makes it a more desirable place to live, work and visit.

Complete Streets Checklist

The Committee developed a Complete Streets Checklist to assist the County in achieving its vision for complete streets. It should be completed for all projects affecting County roads, either by the County’s project manager or the project applicant.

Complete Streets Checklist - fillable form (.pdf)
Complete Streets Checklist - standard (pdf)

Dutchess County "Watch Out For Me" Transportation Safety Campaign

Dutchess County Complete Streets 101 flyer (.pdf)

Additional Resources

  • The County Planning Federation held a short course on Complete Streets in 2013.
  • NYSDOT’s Complete Streets webpage includes links to Complete Streets policies, information about funding, design details, and best practice project examples.
  • The National Complete Streets Coalition has best practices for policy development and implementation.