How do Complete Streets Matter for Communities? The Case of Richfield, Minnesota

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  07/31/2020

Summary:

Municipalities across Minnesota have turned to Complete Streets in an attempt to develop more usable roads for their residents. This report investigates how Complete Streets are reshaping one Minnesota community. In 2013, Richfield, a suburb of Minneapolis, enacted a particularly innovative Complete Streets policy. Known locally as “Richfield Sweet Streets,” the program has led to the reconstruction of several major roads across the city. Richfield’s Sweet Streets program is unique in that it incorporates a modal hierarchy in which users are prioritized differently in road redesign and reconstruction. It relies on extensive community engagement, aiming to improve outcomes for individuals and the community as a whole. This research presents a baseline analysis of how Richfield’s Sweet Streets projects are affecting the local community, while identifying a set of methods and measures for future research. The analysis draws on multiple sources of data to better understand the nature and consequences of Richfield’s Sweet Streets for user experience and livability, economic vitality, transportation and safety, and individual and community health. The research aims to illustrate Richfield’s innovative approach to transforming its transportation infrastructure while providing a roadmap for future analyses of the impacts of Richfield’s Sweet Streets.

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