Chester County Complete Streets
Chester County's Complete Streets Policy provides guidance for how streets may be planned, designed, retrofitted, and maintained to facilitate travel in a safe, convenient, and comfortable manner for all users regardless of their transportation mode. A complete street is more than adding facilities to accommodate pedestrians. Complete streets in Chester County represent an updated method of thinking about how our roadway corridors are utilized. View Brochure
For purposes of adoption by Chester County municipalities, please refer to our Sample Resolution.
What is a complete street?
The concept of a Complete Street reintroduces a transportation infrastructure which is designed, constructed, and maintained to enable efficient mobility for all users regardless of age and ability; regardless of travel mode, whether it be driving, bicycling, walking, or utilizing public transportation. Common elements include vehicle mobility, active sidewalks, safe crosswalks, dedicated bike lanes, planting strips and green spaces.
Why does Chester County need this policy?
Chester County is a desirable place to live and work. From Chester County's comprehensive plan, Landscapes3, the County population is anticipated grow to over 650,000 citizens within the next two decades. Through policy and ordinance, Chester County and its municipalities have guided land use and growth within its borders to create a more sustainable and equitable living environment, including the transportation infrastructure. The Complete Streets policy is a natural extension of Chester County's commitment to smart growth.
Roadways in Chester County will meet the mobility needs of all users and provide for all appropriate modes of transportation with an emphasis on safety, equity, and environmental responsibility.
Consider Complete Streets when planning for projects
Approach every transportation project as an opportunity to promote and advance the Complete Streets vision by considering the transportation needs for users including but not limited to pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and drivers of all ages and abilities, including those in underserved communities as defined by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) Equity Analysis for the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Meet the transportation needs of a growing population
Design new transportation facilities and redevelop or reconfigure existing transportation facilities to incorporate the transportation needs of Chester County's growing population.
Support a sustainable transportation network
Create and maintain a comprehensive, integrated, connected, safe, and convenient transportation network within Chester County that encourages and supports sustainable development.
Develop context sensitive designs
Develop transportation designs which establish context sensitive solutions that best fit within the growth and rural resource area landscapes as defined by Landscapes3.
Engage the public
Incorporate outreach and public input from the community to advocate for increased safety and mobility for all users.
Report results of Complete Streets Policy implementation through measurable data. Please refer to the Performance Measures section of this policy for those metrics.
When will this policy take affect?
The Chester County Commissioners adopted the Complete Streets Policy on November 10, 2021. Municipalities are encouraged to adopt or endorse the County policy or define and adopt a similar Complete Streets policy of their own.
This Complete Streets Policy is applicable to all public roadways either state or municipally owned within Chester County. Policy implementation is applicable to the following phases of the development process:
- Planning — Incorporate a Complete Streets policy into comprehensive plans and official maps. Apply the policy to maintenance and capital improvement plans. Create or modify ordinances to incorporate Complete Streets design standards and equitable transportation networks.
- Design & Implementation — Include Complete Streets guidelines with any modification to existing and future public rights-of-way. Incorporate Complete Streets guidelines during land development and permit reviews.
- Maintenance — Public roadways and shoulders should be maintained kept free of debris for multi-modal transportation needs. Ensure sidewalks are maintained and clear for year-round use. Maintain signage and roadway markings for the safety of all users.
Ordinary and emergency maintenance, legal prohibited uses and excessive cost or impact will be considered for exceptions. Review and approval of exceptions shall include a public notice identifying the list of exceptions being considered and their justification for public review and accountability.
The Chester County Planning Commission will annually track the following data relevant to the Complete Streets Policy:
- Bike Lane Distance — Increased mileage of bicycle lanes.
- Sidewalk Distance — Increased mileage of bicycle lanes.
- Transit Amenities — Number of new or improved existing transit connections with shelters and/or connecting sidewalk/walkways.
- Policy Adoption — Number of Chester County municipalities that adopt a Complete Streets Policy (either the County policy or one of their own).
- Travel Mode Shift — Transportation mode shift (percentage) from single occupant vehicles to alternative modes such as walking, cycling, or use of public transit.