Complete Streets

S&ME looks at streets and public rights of way as one of the key components in creating a livable and vibrant public realm.  The successful design of this public realm is dependent upon an interdisciplinary approach which considers the functional aspects of transportation for multiple modes, but must also consider the greater needs of the community including economic development, neighborhood stability, safety, equity and comfort for users.  S&ME’s complete streets practice integrates landscape architecture, urban design, planning, and engineering to create livable communities for various types of users, including children, cyclists, transit users, businesses, people with disabilities, and aging adults. We believe that the future of transportation is about providing mobility alternatives to the travelling public.  We also strive to incorporate the use of low impact storm water design into our complete streets in order to offer enhanced environmental benefits to the corridor as well as improving safety, beauty, comfort and public health.

Our practice includes the full spectrum of design services for Complete Streets ranging from city or county-wide complete streets policy adoption to design standards to streetscape master plans to detailed construction documents and construction administration. All the members of our team understand that Complete Streets are for every member of the community. They are designed to allow safe travel for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets enhance the pedestrian’s experience by making it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and commute to work by bicycle, car or transit.

S&ME has assisted clients with the implementation of Complete Street standards. We prepare typical-sections for various types of streets (local streets, parkways, boulevards, principal streets, avenues and main streets), and develop criteria for determining which combination of street elements and dimensions to use based on the land use context of each area, the existing right-of-way dimensions and features, community desires, types of users, transit service, available budget, parking needs, and the location of current and future utilities.

S&ME believes a Complete Street streetscape is more than a mere facility to move people and cars. We believe that the street design and details should express the unique spirit and character of a community, uniting as well as commemorating the history, culture and character within that community. To that end, we make public visioning an integral part of our design process. S&ME landscape architects also understand the unique requirements of the urban forest.  We spend effort into designing the proper environment for trees and landscapes to thrive and enhance the beauty of the community.  We work with municipalities, redevelopment agencies, neighborhood improvement districts, public works staffs, and private developers to create distinctive and lasting street designs.