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Complete Streets

artistic rendering of a two roadways next to each other with the right one being rich with markings and pathways
Figure 1. Image courtesy of Smart Growth America

Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining roads and other surface transportation in a way that is safe, accessible, and comfortable for all types of travelers. This includes those who are walking, bicycling, driving, rolling, using public transportation, and other travelers who have been historically under-served by our transportation network.

Alaska DOT&PF is currently working on developing a statewide Complete Streets Policy with the help of a research partnership with Smart Growth America.

Why do we need a Complete Streets Policy?

Our primary goal in developing this policy is to define actionable steps we can take to reduce the number of non-motorized injury crashes and fatalities across Alaska. By formalizing a policy that provides guidance, tools, and resources to help our teams support the community-specific needs of all transportation users, non-motorized users in particular, we aim to consistently and proactively improve safety across our network.

Developing this policy was an action item included in Alaska's Strategic Highway Safety Plan and the Statewide Active Transportation Plan. It is also a commitment DOT&PF made when it became an Ally in Action in support of the National Roadway Safety Strategy.

Improving safety for all transportation users

Traditionally, transportation networks across the United States were built with a focus on moving vehicles quickly. Complete Streets shifts that approach to focus on what is best for all modes of travel, with an emphasis on improving safety.

With 59 pedestrian fatalities on Alaskan roads between 2016 and 2020, our state currently ranks 23rd in pedestrian fatalities among the states. Almost one out of every five fatalities in Alaska are a pedestrian or bicyclist, and 42% of all fatalities were related to speeding vehicles.

More than just safety

The benefits of Complete Streets extend far beyond safety. By providing more comfortable travel opportunities for non-motorized users, Complete Streets can promote more physical activity, provide safe ways for children to travel, lower carbon emissions, improve accessibility for people with disabilities, increase storefront business opportunities, and improve connections between community members.

Developing the policy

Map outline of Alaska with locations noted for Complete Streets Workshops
Figure 2. Workshop and Open House Series graphic

In spring 2024, we held in-person workshops in five communities across the state to educate community planners and leaders about the Complete Streets approach and gather feedback about the challenges and opportunities across urban and rural Alaska. In each community, we also held an open house to share information with the public and gather input on how Complete Streets can meet community needs.

In addition to public outreach, we are reviewing our manuals and regulations to identify areas that need to be updated to support a Complete Streets approach. Draft recommendations will be available for public review in the summer of 2024 and a final report will be available in the fall.

Additional resources

Interested in learning more about Complete Streets? Check out the resources below or contact our Complete Street Policy Project Manager, Julius Adolfsson, at or 907-465-3978.