Road to Zero Safe Streets Academy Grant

National Complete Streets Coalition

Safe Streets Academy

To test creative approaches to safer street design, the National Complete Streets Coalition launched the Safe Streets Academy. The Coalition worked with three cities around the country to build skills in proven safety countermeasures, creative placemaking and community engagement, and then helped the cities put these skills into practice through temporary demonstration projects.

Teams of transportation and public health professionals from the City of Orlando, FL, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, KY, and the City of South Bend, IN, attended a series of three in-person workshops and six distance learning modules to learn from national experts – and from each other – about new approaches to engage their communities and calm traffic on their streets. They then used these new skills to transform their streets, intersections, and neighborhoods into slower, safer places for people.

These demonstration projects helped the cities build support among the community, elected leaders and transportation professionals for prioritizing safe speeds in street design.

  • The team from Orlando collaborated with Orange County to transform Curry Ford Road from a high-speed, five-lane speedway into a three-lane Complete Street with protected cycle tracks and a mid-block crossing with a painted pedestrian refuge
  • The team from Lexington worked with the local community to redesign two dangerous, confusing intersections so it would be safer and easier for people to cross the street
  • The team from South Bend used their demonstration project to teach local residents about new traffic-calming tools, including traffic circles, chicanes and bump outs

In all three cities, these projects started conversations about the importance of street design for traffic safety and paved the way for more safe streets projects moving forward.

To learn more about these safety demonstration projects, visit SmartGrowthAmerica.org.