Complete Streets

The goal of the City of Worcester's Complete Streets program is to make the City's streets safer, more convenient and accessible to all people of all ages and abilities, whether walking, rolling, biking or riding in transit or a motor vehicle. Complete Streets expand our community's travel options and help ensure equitable access to jobs, school, shopping, social opportunities and recreation.

What Are Complete Streets?

Complete Streets are for everyone. Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing and operating streets to allow safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists of all ages and abilities.

Here's The Challenge:

Complete Streets Challenges

  1. Wide roads with multiple lanes encourage high speed traffic.
  2. Dedicated space for buses and bicycles is absent.
  3. Double parking worsens traffic and transit reliability.
  4. Unclear loading causes confusion, and lack of loading space forces freight vehicles to block traffic.
  5. Disconnected sidewalk network and unsafe, poorly designed crossings discourages walkability.

Here's The Solution:

Complete Streets Solutions

  1. High quality, pedestrian infrastructure encourages walkability, which benefits small businesses, the environment and overall quality of life.
  2. Safe, dedicated bike lanes and bike parking encourages mode shift.
  3. Transit priority and dedicated bus lanes helps create a more reliable and efficient bus network.
  4. Right-sized roads and other traffic-calming measures creates a safer roadway for everyone.
  5. Managing curb space by providing pick-up/drop-off or loading areas can alleviate congestion, support small businesses and better serve all users.
  6. Trees and other forms of green infrastructure help improve air quality and provide shade in urban environments.

Prioritization Plan

An important step in implementing Complete Streets is identifying and prioritizing projects. In 2021, The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) awarded Worcester a $50,000 grant to develop a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. This plan identified, defined and ranked potential transportation improvements in the City that further the development of a network of Complete Streets.

The City partnered with Toole Design, a consultant with expertise in the planning and design of Complete Streets, to review the existing network, gather public input and prepare the Prioritization Plan. The plan identified 22 projects that will improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and drivers alike.

The plan was completed and approved by MassDOT in the Spring of 2023. The City is now eligible to receive competitive grant funding for the constructions of one or more of the identified projects.

Complete Streets Program Overview

Click on a heading below to learn more!

The first program tier involves developing a Complete Streets Policy that establishes actions the community will take to expand and improve accommodations for all users of the City's network of streets, sidewalks, bike facilities and other transportation network components. Worcester's Complete Streets Policy was endorsed by the City Council in December of 2017 and Approved by MassDOT in March of 2018.

The second step in the program is the development of a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. The Complete Streets Prioritization Plan is a snapshot of a community's current and near-term Complete Street's needs. Worcester received a $50,000 grant from MassDOT for the development of a Prioritization Plan and partnered with Toole Design to assist in this effort. The plan was completed and approved by MassDOT in the Spring of 2023.

Now that the Prioritization Plan has been completed and approved by MassDOT, Worcester has advanced to Tier 3. The City is now eligible to apply for up to $400,000 in funding to implement one or more street projects identified in the Plan.

Contact Information

Transportation & Mobility
76 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300 ext. 49500
Fax: 508-453-2888
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Office Hours:
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8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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