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Complete Streets Program

Complete Street Design


Complete Streets are streets for everyone.

They are planned, designed and operated for safe mobility for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit users of all ages and abilities. VTA, in a collaborative effort with its Member Agencies and partner agencies such as Caltrans, The Santa Clara County Health Department, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), has developed a Complete Streets Program for Santa Clara County.

VTA is currently conducting three Complete Streets Corridor Studies: Story-Keyes, Tasman, and Bascom, which are discussed below. The main objective of this program is to formulate a process for implementing incremental improvements to make the streets in Santa Clara County more complete. VTA’s Complete Streets Program currently consists of three activity areas:

  • Education and Outreach
  • Corridor Studies
  • Policy

The following memorandum and presentation provides further background information on VTA’s Complete Streets Program and on Complete Streets efforts in Santa Clara County.

Complete Street Memorandum and Presentation (August 2012) 

Education and Outreach

Continuous education and ongoing communication with our communities are key activities to designing and implementing complete streets. Ideal designs are sensitive to the surrounding context and use the latest best practices. Below is a list of educational workshops and seminars that VTA has undertaken in partnership with its local agency staff, elected officials and other organizations:

participants attending a workshop   Theresa O'Neil presenting at a workshop

Current Complete Streets Corridor Studies

In early 2015, VTA initiated a new phase of its Complete Streets program by beginning a series of corridor studies to implement Complete Streets elements along select roadways in Santa Clara County. This planning effort is a partnership between VTA and its member agencies to transform select roadways into high-quality, multimodal streets that prioritize bicycle, pedestrian and transit travel while still serving motorists.

The ​VTA Great Streets: Complete Streets Corridor Study memo (February 2015) provides an overview of this corridor study effort.

In Spring 2015, VTA secured grant funding to conduct three studies under this overall effort:

Photo of pedestrian walking on a sidewalk, cyclist riding in bike lane


Local and regional Complete Street policies are an important tool for integrating Complete Streets best practices into all aspects of capital project delivery. Over the past several years, VTA has supported these efforts, which include:

  • VTA supports and locally enforces the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Complete Streets Policy (Resolution 3765, Adopted June 28, 2006), which requires pedestrian and bicyclist needs to be accommodated in any infrastructure project funded all or in part with regional funds.
  • In 2009, the VTA Board of Directors adopted Multimodal Design Practices and Principles, which directs staff to use complete streets best practices on all future roadway projects as feasible, using the Tully/101 interchange design as an example. 
  • VTA developed a Countywide Competitive Complete Streets program as part of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) program. The program distributes certain Federal flexible transportation grant funds to local agencies for construction of transportation projects. The following memorandum summarizes the criteria developed for the initial program, which funded projects for fiscal years 2012-13 through 2016-17: One Bay Area Grant (OBAG): Local Program Development Criteria (October 2012). 
  • The One Bay Area Grant program continues to be the primary vehicle for delivering Federal transportation funds to local jurisdictions, with the second cycle providing funding for fiscal years 2017-18 through 2021-22. To be eligible to receive funding in OBAG Cycle 2, local agencies must have either adopted a Complete Streets policy or have an updated General Plan that incorporates Complete Streets concepts. VTA is responsible for local enforcement of this requirement. 

In 2016, VTA began development of a more robust Complete Streets Policy which will

  1. Apply to VTA’s internal project delivery procedures
  2. Set forth procedures and practices that local agencies should follow when developing transportation projects using certain funds programmed through VTA.
VTA staff is working closely with local agency staff, organizations that represent multiple roadway users, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Caltrans to establish a policy and procedures that will strengthen the Complete Streets design approach that is already being used by VTA and its member agencies. This policy and procedures will bring transparency to the design decisions and tradeoffs that are being made in major transportation projects throughout the County.
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