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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Complete Streets Research: Raleigh’s Hillsborough St. Featured in National Report

ssse-coverCommunities that used a “Complete Streets” approach to transportation reduced the number of automobile collisions and injuries, and increased the number of people biking, walking, and taking transit, according to new research released late last month by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition.

These projects were inexpensive yet achieved core transportation goals, and were also related to increased employment, higher property values, increased net new businesses, and increased investment from the private sector.

Safer Streets, Stronger Economies analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. Relying on information collected by local departments of transportation and economic development, the new findings show just how good an investment Complete Streets projects can be.

Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street was one of the 37 projects included in the research. Completed in 2012, the project brought the street from four lanes down to two lanes with on-street parking, redesigned a roundabout, and made the area more pedestrian friendly.

“The street redesign was an integral to revitalizing and creating a safer Hillsborough Street corridor.  Since the redesign, the corridor has seen a reduction in pedestrian injuries as well as economic revitalization, in the form of new residential and commercial development.  All of this is crucial to the new vision of Hillsborough as a diverse community and future transit corridor,” commented Karen Rindge, WakeUP Wake County Executive Director.

“The before and after data from transportation departments show that Complete Streets projects can be a tremendously good transportation investment,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Some communities have gotten greater throughput, huge improvements in safety, more people biking and walking, and economic results to boot. Given their inexpensive price tags Complete Streets have to be considered by DOTs for their transportation merits alone, not to mention their health, community, and economic outcomes.”

Whether it’s planting trees or adding crosswalks, making travel lanes narrower or creating space for people on bikes, hundreds of communities are changing how their streets look and work—and getting a great return on public investment in the process. Read the full findings and learn more at






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