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Complete Streets

Complete Streets prioritize the safety of all people using the street over the speed of moving cars. 

Complete Streets in the State of Wisconsin 

In 2009 the Wisconsin state legislature passed a Complete Streets Law which in part stated that the Wisconsin DOT shall refuse to provide any state and federal funds to highway reconstruction projects that don’t include bicycle and pedestrian ways – i.e. sidewalks and/or marked or unmarked bike lanes.

It’s clear, the passing of a statewide Complete Streets law prompted many cities and regions across the state to adopt complementary Complete Streets policies to best coordinate the development of safe street networks within their respective communities. In 2015, The governor’s administration repealed the Complete Streets law stating that the move was designed to, “reduce the regulatory burden on the Department of Transportation.” alleging that the law would put a $7M hole in the state budget over a two year period. Conversely, the Wisconsin Bike Fed, its partners and local government leaders across the state saw it differently, citing cost savings.

Instead of mitigating dangers in the public right of way after tragedies such as serious and injuries occur, putting the cost burden upon the local government, the Complete Streets law acted as a proactive tenet, effectively improving health and safety, as well as freed up dollars for investing in the local economy, and building upon the billion-dollar economic driver that the state of Wisconsin provides for cyclists locally and globally.

The repeal did not stop local governments from continuing to write safe streets policies since 2015 seven more communities have passed Complete Streets policies aimed to take a more concerted effort to improve public health and safety across the state. While many communities across the state of Wisconsin have adopted their own Complete Streets legislation, the challenges to accomplish increased safety prevail when local and statewide administrations possess different project outcome priorities.

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is committed to supporting communities on their journey to adopting Complete Streets across the state of Wisconsin. Along with our statewide partners. Below, is a full list of all the Complete Streets Policies that currently exist statewide. Additionally, we have attached a list of resources that aim to help you develop a comprehensive Complete Streets policy in your own community. Whether you’re a government leader, serve in a non-profit, or a resident, anyone can take part in this important work.

Policy Inventory

  • Appleton, WI / Complete Streets Policy / Type: POLICY / Level: CITY 2016
  • East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, WI / Complete Streets Policy / Type: POLICY / Level: Region / 2018
  • Franklin, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution / Level: City / 2013
  • Grand Chute, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution TBR-13-2013 / Level: City / 2011
  • La Crosse Area Planning Committee, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution 7-2011 / Level: Region / 2013
  • La Crosse County, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution No. 11-4/11 / Level: County / 2011
  • La Crosse, WI / Legislation / Type: Ordinance No. 4627 / Level: City / 2011
  • La Crosse, WI / Legislation / Type: Green Streets Ordinance, Sec. 40-14 / Level: City / 2016
  • Madison, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution No. 09-997 / Level: City / 2009
  • Madison, WI MPO (MATPB) / Plan / Type: Regional Transportation Plan Update / Level: Region / 2006
  • Manitowoc, WI / Resolution⌾ Type: Resolution No. 084 / Level: City / 2012
  • Milwaukee, WI / Resolution⌾ Type: Resolution No. 180922 / Level: City / 2018
  • Milwaukee, WI / Ordinance / Type: Ordinance No. 180914 Complete Streets Committee / Level: City / 2018
  • New Richmond, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution No. 021701 / Level: City / 2017
  • Onalaska, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution No. 25-2012 / Level: City / 2012
  • Stevens Point, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution “Establishing a Complete Streets Policy” / Level: City / 2018
  • West Salem, WI / Resolution / Type: Resolution No. 2.11 / Level: City / 2011


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