Complete Streets State Statutes and Provisions, January 1972 - December 2018

Published: 24-06-2019| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/2r4m9zmf5h.2
Jamila Porter


Across the U.S., states have adopted Complete Streets legislative statutes: state laws that direct transportation agencies to routinely design and operate roadways to provide safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transit users. State Complete Streets statutes were identified using legal research databases. Using established legal mapping methods, a qualitative content analysis was conducted of state laws made effective through December 2018. A codebook and open-source data set were developed to support the public use of the data. A systematic qualitative analysis was conducted of Complete Streets legislative statutes made effective between January 1972 and December 2018. LexisNexis Academic and Fastcase legal research databases were used to search for and obtain full statute texts across all 50 states and Washington, DC. The search terms that were used included: “complete streets,” “pedestrian facilities,” “pedestrian accommodation,” “pedestrian and bicycle,” “pedestrian or bicycle,” “road construction,” and “routine accommodation.” To validate and inform the search results, comparisons were made between the laws obtained through the two databases and a publicly available list of known state Complete Streets statutes that have been documented by the AARP and the National Complete Streets Coalition. In cases where only a citation or act number was available in either database, websites of state legislatures were visited to obtain the full statute texts. A list of variables were developed and defined to systematically code the statute texts. Variables were informed by the text of the laws themselves, as well as policy elements developed by the National Complete Streets Coalition to describe a comprehensive Complete Streets policy. To ensure familiarity with legal terminology, two law students coded each of the statutes. An initial list of variables and definitions was reviewed and refined by the coders and supervising researcher through an iterative process. Laws were coded for a total of 35 variables within 16 discrete categories, including road user types, roadway development and maintenance activities referenced, and provisions related to design standards, exceptions, and funding allocations. Each student coded the laws for all variables separately, blinded to the other’s results. To calculate interrater reliability, half of the coded statutes were randomly selected using the random number generator in Excel. Interrater agreement was calculated to be very high at 0.92, indicating strong interrater reliability. Divergences were reviewed by the supervising researcher and both coders and were ultimately resolved within the data set. The full data set, codebook, and decision rules are available here.