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GreenStep City Best Practices Transportation

Living Streets
no. 11

Create a network of green complete streets that improves city quality of life and adds value to surrounding properties.
  Best Practice Action 3      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]       [all actions]

Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.

  • A complete streets reconstruction project improves safety, accessibility and mobility for all users - motorists, transit users, pedestrians, bicyclists. Grey infrastructure includes more traditional construction materials, systems, conveyance methods, and approaches, including utility work (sewer, water, electric, smart grid, telecommunications, district heating pipes: some or all of which can be done together at a cost savings over multiple street tear-ups). Green infrastructure includes strategically planned and managed networks of working landscapes and alternative approaches, focusing on stormwater and trees, that reduce the adverse impacts of development while providing a potentially wide array of ecological services and quality of life benefits. Social infrastructure is part of a living street and includes friendly storefronts.
  • See Complete Streets: Guide to Answering the Costs Question to learn how in Richfield, MN, a road diet resulted in reconstruction cost savings of approximately $2million, or one-third of the original cost estimated for reconstruction of 76th St. Reconstruction of Duluth's main street in 2016 may include installation of hot water district heating pipes. Simultaneous installation of smart grid electric wires and broadband wires is explored in Smart Grid, Smart Broadband, Smart Infrastructure (Center for American Progress: 2009). And for financing street projects, see LMC's background information on utility franchise fees and sample ordinances.
  • The Green Street Municipal Handbook (U.S. EPA: 2008) is a well-illustrated guide to effective design of alleys and residential, commercial and arterial streets to reduce stormwater flow, improve water quality, reduce urban heating, enhance pedestrian safety, reduce carbon footprints, and beautify neighborhoods.
  • The Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System was used in a 2013 54th Street reconstruction effort that informed Edina's 2015 Living Streets Plan. Maplewood has budgeted rain gardens as part of all street reconstruction work since 1996. Since most cities schedule reconstruction of specific street segments years in advance, this affords a community the time to carefully plan integrated grey and green infrastructure projects.
  • For actions and resources related to tree installation and to stormwater infrastructure, see GreenStep best practices #16 ( Urban Forests ) and #17 ( Stormwater Management ).
Summarize the complete streets elements - grey infrastructure such as adding sidewalks, bumpouts, bike lanes, truck routes, broad band, EV charging station, smart grid.
Summarize the complete streets (re)construction project and its green infrastructure elements - street trees, vegetation, rain gardens, permeable pavement, stormwater capture and re-use, etc. Note if a utility franchise fee (vs. special assessments) was used.
Use the Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System; use a Pavement Management Plan to incorporate complete street goals; implement a "dig once" plan/policy (installing conduit/other underground capacity that can accept future infrastructure such as fiber optics without digging up the street); report lower cost of project (capital costs and/or anticipated maintenance costs) compared to reconstructing roads with no changes.

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   04/25/2017
Date of last report update:   04/25/2017
Year action initially completed:   2005
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The Douglas Drive corridor project will incorporate streetscaping, sidewalks, bike lanes and roundabouts at Sandburg Road and Golden Valley Road intersections for improved traffic flow. The project includes undergrounding overhead utilities and construction of duct banks and conduits for future expansions of several different utilities. Construction will be completed in 2017. A utility franchise fee was used to help finance the project. As part of the project, an existing stormwater pond was expanded and pumps were added so that stormwater could be used to irrigate nearby ballfields. Excess right-of-way acquired for the project is being retained as green space and two of the properties are being utilized as filtration basins. The Glenwood Avenue repaving project will incorporate bike lanes. Construction will be completed in 2017. In 2005, the City completed a street reconstruction project on Boone Avenue north of Highway 55, which included the construction of an underground duct bank for existing utilities and allows for future expansions.

Descriptive links: http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/streets/construction/douglas-drive.php

For more information contact:
Jeff Oliver (City staff)   |   joliver@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   (763)-593-8034

Hennepin County

View All Golden Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/22/2011
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
For all of Maplewood's street reconstruction projects, the City installs rain gardens to collect rain and infiltrate that water back into the ground and prevent it from entering the storm drainage system. . A rain garden is a shallow depression that collects rain water and allows it to infiltrate. Its planted with plants that can tolerate a wide range of soil moisture. For all Living Streets projects done by the city, rain gardens are added when possible. There is also the ability of citizens to acquire curb cuts for their own personal rain gardens. The city has also implemented penetrable concrete and on walks during these projects to allow for greater infiltration. The City of Maplewood has been installing rain gardens as part of its street reconstruction projects since the 1980s. Most recently the City has enhanced those efforts with the development of the Living Streets Policy. Since adoption of the policy in 2013, the City has completed two street reconstruction projects using the new guidelines. The policy requires that the City infiltrate a certain percentage (?) of stormwater through stormwater best practices including rain gardens and infiltration basins. The first project (Bartelmy/Meyer Neighborhood) included 2 miles of reconstructed roadway, with the installation of 32 rain gardens. The second project (Arkright/Sunrise Neighborhood) included 23.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Since 1996, the City has installed over 620 home rain gardens and over 60 public rain gardens.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=456

For more information contact:
Steve Love (City staff)   |   steve.love@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2404

View All Maplewood Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/06/2019
Year action initially completed:   2014
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
Modified streets include: Richfield Pkwy, Portland Ave, 66th St from Xerxes to 16th, 75th from Xerxes to 35W, 76th from 35W to 12th, 11th from 12th to 72nd, 72nd from 11th to Diagonal and Diagonal from 72nd to Cedar were all reconstructed as part of the 2 year Metro Sewer Project. The project consisted of both grey and green infrastructure elements. Grey-sidewalk, multi-purpose trail, bike lanes. Green-established vegetation in boulevards, boulevard trees and a rain garden at Ell South. 76th Street was reduced from 4 lanes of concrete to 2 lanes of asphalt. The ROW from the 4 lanes was used to add bike lanes, sidewalks, multi-purpose trail, green boulevards on both sides of the roadway and boulevard trees on both sides. In 2011, the City reconstructed 75th Street from Xerxes Avenue to Humboldt Avenue. The design replaced the old asphalt roadway with a new streetscape with the following features: Two asphalt vehicle lanes, on-street bike lanes, concrete sidewalk on the south side, Three Rivers Park Regional Trail on the north side, boulevards and boulevard trees. 

Outcome measures/metrics:
The 76th St. road diet resulted in reconstruction cost savings of approximately $2 million, or one-third of the original cost estimated for reconstruction. Recent mill and overlay for the entire city has avoided future reconstruction costs of several million dollars.

For more information contact:
Jack Broz (City staff)   |   jbroz@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619792

View All Richfield Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   10/27/2014
Date of last report update:   10/27/2014

Implementation details:
Alongside the development of the Green Line light rail, connecting downtown Saint Paul to downtown Minneapolis, is a stormwater management effort between the City of Saint Paul, CRWD, Ramsey County and the Central Corridor. This partnership demonstrates effective stormwater management incorporated into urban environments despite its complexity. The project includes an integrated tree trench system that contains stormwater planters, rain gardens, and infiltration trenches, which are rock-filled trenches built under curbs and boulevards. Storm water runoff is stored in the voids of the rock-filled trenches and slowly infiltrates through the bottom and into the soil, increasing groundwater recharge. Pollution is also filtered through the soil through this process. In addition, the stormwater planters and rain gardens along the Green Lines are strategically installed to capture and filter water runoff that is currently untreated and flows to the Mississippi River. These visible stormwater enhancements serve as a reminder of the importance of stormwater quality, and an attractive practice to follow.

For more information contact:
Kurt Schultz (City staff)   |   kurt.schultz@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-6590

View All Saint Paul Actions

Albert Lea

Date action report first entered:   07/15/2016
Date of last report update:   07/20/2016

Implementation details:
In 2013 the City of Albert Lea completed the Broadway Avenue Streetscape project. The project brought downtown into compliance with the complete streets ordinance passed in 2009 by narrowing Broadway Avenue, widening sidewalks, and including bicycle lanes. Tree boxes and a rain garden were also added.

For more information contact:
Jerry Gabrielatos (City staff)   |   jgabrielatos@ci.albertlea.mn.us   |   507-377-4316

View All Albert Lea Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/03/2014
Date of last report update:   06/04/2014

Implementation details:
Duluth reconstructed Oxford/Livingston/Glenwood streets in the Woodland and Lakeside areas in 2013. We added sidewalks to Glenwood where they were missing, Trees, vegetation and stormwater treatment were also included in the overall project. In 2014, the City Council passed a resolution to do a road diet on London Road, between 10th and 21st Ave E. to go to a three lane section with bike lanes on each side. The restriping to complete the road diet on that section of London Road will take place in late summer 2014.

            view file

For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff)   |   ajackson@DuluthMN.gov   |   218-730-4433

View All Duluth Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/28/2016
Date of last report update:   04/28/2016

Implementation details:
9th Avenue was completely redeveloped to incorporate retaining walls, drains, storm water catches, and sidewalks.

For more information contact:
Harold Langowski (City staff)   |   elyod@ely.mn.us   |   218-226-5474

View All Ely Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/04/2011

Implementation details:
Every year during street reconstruction projects, Hopkins documents the installation of trees, green stormwater infrastructure and any utility renovations. In 2010 the City narrowed Oak Glenn, Park Lane, Ridgewood Drive, 1st St. N and 2nd St. N east of 5th Ave. N. By narrowing the streets, the City has added more green space and sidewalk space for residents. The City also planted three disease resistant elms in Burnes Park. Lastly, Opus constructed a stormwater treatment pond and infiltration basins in 2009 which treats about 33 acres of land. The City is currently working on narrowing more streets to create more green space and they will also add sidewalks to these areas.

Descriptive links: http://www.hopkinsmn.com/services/streets/img/2011-map-lg.jpg

For more information contact:
Nate Stanley (City staff)   |   Nstanley@hopkinsmn.com   |   952-548-6356

View All Hopkins Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/28/2016
Date of last report update:   04/28/2016

Implementation details:
In 2014, the City completed a full reconstruction of Jefferson St SE. In addition to narrowing the street, the reconstruction included replacing sidewalk with a 10ft wide paved, bicycle-friendly trail. This trail helped connect two other bike-friendly trails within Hutchinson’s Complete Streets network (see BP 11.5). The reconstruction also included the addition of a stormwater pond with associated stormwater infrastructure i.e. pipes, catchment basins and manholes. The City also planted boulevard trees along the route in areas where enough right-of way existed to accommodate both the trail and boulevard trees.

For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff)   |   jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us   |   320-234-5682

View All Hutchinson Actions

New Hope

Date action report first entered:   04/01/2015
Date of last report update:   11/19/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Rain gardens were installed at the city's golf course at 8130 Bass Lake Road, on 49th Avenue North near Little Acre Park, and at Tierra Linda Park. The 2015 infrastructure project includes a rain garden at Holiday Park at 47th & Flag avenues and the option for residents to install rain gardens when the street is reconstructed.

For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff)   |   jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us   |   763-531-5119

View All New Hope Actions


Date action report first entered:   10/28/2013

Implementation details:
Rochester has been an early adopter of complete streets and has numerous examples of this best practice. One very notable project that is wrapping up is on second street southwest. The project will be finished in November. The project contains a road diet of 4 lanes down to three, bike lanes on both sides, a median with stormwater capture design, both directions have bumpouts for parking, and bumpouts for cross walks at the major intersections. The Sidewalk was also redone to include landscaping, street trees, and permeable pavement in areas.

Outcome measures/metrics:
This project will drastically improve the walkability and safety of this corridor for the future.

For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff)   |   ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US   |   507-328-7132

View All Rochester Actions

White Bear Lake

Date action report first entered:   03/25/2013

Implementation details:
The City has added sidewalks, trails and bike lanes. Sidewalk added on a non-complete street, on Hazel Avenue in between busy County Road E and Cedar Avenue. The City added a trail on McKnight Road that attaches to several other trails that wind through Lakewood Hills Park. The City added a bike lane on Bel Air Avenue and County Road D, a wide rural section overal, by changing the striping and narrowing lanes to allow for a 6 foot wide bike lane on both sides. The City has installed 34 rain gardens since 2007, 27 are residential, and 7 are in city parks and are maintained by the cite. As part of any street reconstruction project, any trees that are taken down are replaced usually on a 2:1 ratio. The City installed a porous asphalt paved parking lot in Lions Park. The City installed a stor mwater capture and reuse system in Lakewood Hills Park to irrigate the softball fields.

For more information contact:
Connie Taillon (City staff)   |   ctaillon@whitebearlake.org   |   651-429-8564

View All White Bear Lake Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/26/2013

Implementation details:
As part of the city’s design principles, the design standard for residential streets has been changed. all new streets are built using a road section that is 4 feet narrower than in the past, and a sidewalk requirement has been added to all thru streets. Now when street rehabilitation projects occur, each project considers the feasibility of narrowing older streets to the new standard, as well as opportunities for adding sidewalk. Recently, in the 2012 street rehabilitation project, the city redesigned both Colby Lake Drive and Wimbledon Drive to narrow the roadways, and in the case of Colby Lake Drive, it was rebuilt as a parkway with a green median, complete with numbers of median and boulevard trees.

For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff)   |   jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3522

View All Woodbury Actions

Apple Valley

Date action report first entered:   03/19/2012

Implementation details:
Founders Lane: 153rd Street reconstructed from two-lane road to two one-way, two-lane streets with boulevard trees planted in decorative concrete surface approximately 40' apart. Also, beginning in 2011 a bus rapid transit lane will be added to Cedar Ave and the project will include boulevard trees planted approximately 30-40' apart and pedestrian-scaled lighting, enhanced landscaping, streetscaping and monumentation, pedestrian refuges in the middle of Cedar Avenue to wait if they cannot cross Cedar during a signal cycle, and way-finding signage.

For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff)   |   CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us   |   952-953-2508

View All Apple Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/07/2012

Implementation details:
Completed tree inventory and planned documentation of future installation of trees. Installation of trees is part of Complete Streets policy

For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer)   |   janetanderson2840@gmail.com   |   5072190680

Park & Rec, Engineering Department

View All Austin Actions


Date action report first entered:   11/24/2017
Date of last report update:   01/05/2018
Year action initially completed:   2011
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
In 2011 the 86th Street Corridor (3 1/2 miles) was one of the first to be modified under the Complete Streets Policy (draft at the time this project was planned and completed). The project modified a 4-lane undivided roadway with curb-walk into a 3-lane roadway with bike lanes. This roadway improvement project provided one vehicle lane in each direction, a center dual left turn lane and a bike lane in each direction. It helps to connect cyclists from the South Loop District to the east all the way across town to an on-road bikeway network that connects to Hyland Regional Park to the west. The bike lane also provides separation between the vehicles and pedestrians to improve the walkability of the corridor.

Descriptive links: https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/pr/active-living-biking-and-hiking-guide

For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff)   |   sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov   |   952-563-4606

View All Bloomington Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/16/2014
Date of last report update:   10/13/2014

Implementation details:
The City of Brainerd District installed 17 rain water gardens in the Little Buffalo Creek Watershed in south Brainerd. The rain gardens are being installed to improve water quality in Little Buffalo Creek and downstream waters. Work involves installing a curb cut rain garden in the front yard of a residence. The landowners signed up to have rain gardens installed in their front yards and agreed to maintain them in the future.

For more information contact:
Mark Ostgarden (City staff)   |   mostgarden@ci.brainerd.mn.us   |   218-828-2310

Crow Wing County Soil Water Conservation District

View All Brainerd Actions

Cottage Grove

Date action report first entered:   01/29/2014

Implementation details:
A storm water basin was installed with the construction of the new City hall/Public Safety building. The basin collects runoff from the building and surrounding area then reuses the water for irrigation purposes. The newly constructed Ravine Parkway project created a parkway in which the designing elements included surface water management in the design of the medians and infiltration basins.

For more information contact:
Ryan Burfeind (City staff)   |   rburfeind@cottage-grove.org   |   651-458-2899

View All Cottage Grove Actions


Date action report first entered:   09/07/2016
Date of last report update:   09/07/2016

Implementation details:
Although the city has not yet adopted a complete/green streets policy, as streets are being reconstructed or streets are being installed in infill plats, streets are being narrowed as appropriate for anticipated traffic levels.

For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff)   |   Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov   |   763-531-1140

View All Crystal Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/27/2016
Date of last report update:   04/27/2016

Implementation details:
Green infrastructure – when public and public Right of Way space affords and subterranean geological conditions allow, the City evaluates the feasibility and practicality of installing non-traditional stormwater conveyance and treatment best management practices. Recent installations of these sorts of implements include a modification of the Conzemius Park ponding basing to promote and allow added infiltration capacity, linear raingarden ditches alongside reconstructed streets in the Hastings Industrial & Business Park, bioswales in two recently reconstructed parking lots in Downtown Hastings, and the additional of on-site raingarden/infiltration basins at our Public Works facility when the site was redeveloped.

For more information contact:
Nick Egger (City staff)   |   negger@hastingsmn.gov   |   651-480-2370

View All Hastings Actions

La Prairie

Date action report first entered:   01/08/2016
Date of last report update:   01/08/2016

Implementation details:
Re-constructed a major arterial city street in collaboration with the county in compliance with the complete street policy.1/8/2016

For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official)   |   jbolen@laprairiemn.com   |   218-326-8898

View All La Prairie Actions


Date action report first entered:   10/23/2014
Date of last report update:   04/05/2017
Year action initially completed:   2012
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The 2016 Woodley Street reconstruction project we incorporated narrowing the road and adding bumpouts. This project also added sidewalk to both sides of the street.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Promoting and enhancing safety for walkers and bikers.

For more information contact:
Beth Kallestad (City staff)   |   beth.kallestad@ci.northfield.mn.us   |   507-645-3074

View All Northfield Actions

Saint Cloud

Date action report first entered:   05/27/2011

Implementation details:
As part of the new regional library constructed in 2009 the City implemented green stormwater practices by utilizing pervious pavers to allow for rainwater absorption. Also as part of the streetscaping the City planted trees on the plaza and boulvards using engineered soils to support maximum tree health and rain water infiltration. The project also provided for a best management practice that installed a primary treatment area in a large rain water garden adjacent to the large parking area.

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For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff)   |   elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   320-255-7226

View All Saint Cloud Actions

Saint Louis Park

Date action report first entered:   04/28/2017
Date of last report update:   04/28/2017
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
In 2017, following the Connect the Park Plan, the City of Saint Louis Park has been modifying a number of streets: 1) 33 St, Virginia Ave to Rhode Island Ave 2) Texas Ave corridor, Hwy 77 to Cedar Lake Trail 3) Texas Ave, minnetonka Blvd to 28th St.4) 28th St Corridor, Virginia Ave to Hwy 100.

Descriptive links: https://www.stlouispark.org/2017-connect-the-park-sidewalk-and-trails.html

For more information contact:
Shannon Pinc (City staff)   |   spinc@stlouispark.org   |   952-924-2191

View All Saint Louis Park Actions

Burnsville pending

Date action report first entered:   06/25/2012

Implementation details:
In 2011, Burnsville installed 14 rain gardens in the neighborhood surrounding Keller Lake. These rain gardens are located on residential single-family home front yards, and are maintained by residents.

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions

Saint Anthony pending

Date action report first entered:   05/05/2011

Implementation details:
The City of St. Anthony has constructed the only multi-source water reuse facility in Minnesota. This included an extensive inter-government collaboration with the following agencies: City of St. Anthony, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, Hennepin County Highway Department, MWMO, and RCWD. The project has received many environmental awards and accolades.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Reduces potable water needs for irrigation resulting in the preservation of precious groundwater resources. Reductions in pollutant discharges to the Mississippi River and Rice Creek.

For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff)   |   jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us   |   612-782-3314

View All Saint Anthony Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
David Larson, Landscape Architect, Office of Environmental Stewardship, MN Dept. of Transportation: 651/366-4637, david.larson@state.mn.us, http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/completestreets