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Delivering the Complete Streets Initiative for Orange County, California

Orange County Council of Governments

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38% of Orange County jurisdictions surveyed said they lacked information or technical expertise to design Complete Streets; our Design Handbook provides them with a tool to address this gap.

Our Role

Steer Davies Gleave recently led the delivery of the Orange County Complete Streets Initiative on behalf of the Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG). The outputs of this project will be used by Orange County jurisdictions to help create transportation networks that serve all users, regardless of mode of transportation, age or ability. The project also helps ensure that Orange County complies with the California Complete Streets Act (AB1358) 2008, which requires jurisdictions to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users.

How we did it

We liaised with all 35 jurisdictions of Orange County to understand local knowledge and issues around Complete Streets. Almost 50% of jurisdictions said Complete Street principles are a typical part of street projects, however, 75% said they had yet to adopt a specific Complete Streets policy. In addition, many jurisdictions perceived delivery of Complete Streets as difficult, due to limitations in public funding, a lack of staff, and a lack of information or technical expertise. 

To help jurisdictions overcome these issues we developed a comprehensive Design Handbook for use by anyone planning street infrastructure. This handbook explains what Complete Streets are, how to shape policies to help deliver them, and how to design them. It offers a suite of flexible policy statements that can be tailored by jurisdictions to best meet their local transportation needs. It also provides design guidance and principles tailored to suit the character, use, and capacity of the diverse range of street types within Orange County. We also developed a supplementary Funding Toolkit to provide guidance on grant funding applications.

Both the Design Handbook and Funding Toolkit can viewed and downloaded from the OCCOG website.

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