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

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  07/31/2020

Summary:

The City of Richfield’s new Complete Streets program, known as “Sweet Streets,” has improved quality of life and enthusiasm for bicycling and nondriving transportation since 2013, although researchers found that construction impacts still shadow local perceptions. New facilities that offer better lighting of pedestrians, improved crosswalks, new bike lanes and bus pullouts leave business owners and citizens confident that safety will be improved. New concerns over potential conflicts between bicyclists and parked cars, as well as roundabout visibility and pedestrian safety have arisen, particularly with residents who have families. Safety studies of roundabouts in Richfield show increased pedestrian safety. Traffic times across the city appear to have been reduced, since roundabouts significantly reduced delays when compared to earlier traffic signals. Health and economic data proved somewhat elusive, and the impact of the program on home values and public health remains uncertain.

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