Complete Streets Design Guidelines


The Public Works Department Mobility & Traffic Engineering Division is creating Complete Streets Design Guidelines to ensure that future investment within the City’s public right-of-way is safe, sustainable, and universally accessible. The Guidelines will be driven by the City’s 2020 Complete Streets Policy and will consolidate best practices, design standards, and findings from various City plans and policies, including the 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan, 2021 Local Road Safety Plan, and the recently released General Plan Update.

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What is Complete Streets?

Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, and constructing streets that enables safe access for all users, regardless of age or ability. Complete Streets emphasizes the needs of users that have experienced underinvestment in roadway infrastructure, such as the disabled, elderly, and those without access to a personal vehicle.

What Does a Complete Street Look Like in Culver City?

It depends. Complete Streets is not a one-size-fits-all approach. A Complete Street treatment responds to the unique needs of the community—and the unique characteristics of a street segment—through context-sensitive design.

The Complete Streets Design Guidelines will help determine what Complete Street treatment is appropriate for the various street types in the City.

What are the Complete Streets Design Guidelines?

The Complete Streets Design Guidelines will unify previously adopted City policy and planning documents and provide a plan to implement Complete Streets Citywide. By implementing Complete Streets, the City will also be implementing its Bicycle & Pedestrian Action Plan, the Local Road Safety Plan, and more.


The Complete Streets Design Guidelines takes a holistic approach to road design by looking at the major zones that comprise our public right-of-way, including:

Behind the Curb

The “behind the curb” zone is includes amenities used by all road users—transit riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Behind the curb elements include sidewalks, seating, parking meters, lighting, signage, bus shelters, and more. Efficient organization and design of the the zone provides an opportunity to create an inviting public space by providing amenities such as urban forestry, wayfinding, and human-scale lighting that promote all modes of travel.

In the Roadway

The “in the roadway” zone refers to the travel lanes for bicyclists, motor vehicles, buses, and shuttles. It also includes elements such as raised medians with landscaping, lighting, and other elements.

At the Curb

The “at the curb” zone can be thought of as a transition zone that connects or enhances activities occurring in the "behind the curb" and "in the roadway" zones. As the name suggests, this zone is generally adjacent to the curb. This zone can be flexible to meet community needs by prioritizing elements most helpful for movement and safety. While the at the curb zone has traditionally been used for on-street parking or as a travel lane, Complete Streets challenges the status quo by ensuring this space is most effectively used to enable more people to access nearby destinations without a personal automobile, whether it be through improved transit stop amenities, new bicycle facilities, or space to accommodate nearby retail or other business activities. Elements of this zone include loading zones, curb extensions, bike corrals, bus bulbs, parklets, and stormwater treatment amenities.

At the Intersection

The “at the intersection” zone refers to street intersections. It includes elements to facilitate safe crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists like crosswalks, median refuges, curb extensions, and ADA ramps. Different intersection controls, such as signalized intersections, stop signs, and roundabouts, help manage the orderly and efficient movement of traffic while keeping all road users safe.

Guiding Principles

In developing the Complete Streets Design Guidelines, the City has adopted Guiding Principles to ensure that future investment in the public right-of-way reflects the following core values.

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City Connectivity

Create connectivity between modes and between modes and destinations for people to easily access any place in Culver City

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Accessible and Equitable

Create streets and public spaces that serve all communities, ages, and abilities

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Design the built environment to protect people from potential harm, and foster a sense of safety and security where everyone feels comfortable walking, biking, and accessing transit

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Promote walking, biking, and taking transit as logical first choices

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Environmental Health

Promote climate resilience by supporting natural ecosystems within the urban environment and reducing transportation emissions

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Sense of Place

Build inviting, aesthetically pleasing, and vibrant streets and places that are unique to Culver City, support neighborhood and business activities, and welcome visitors