Since its release in Oct, 2012, the “Model Design Manual for Living Streets” has generated visibility from national media outlets, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and municipalities across the country. Supported by a RENEW LA grant and the Luskin Center, this manual provides guidance for cities seeking to update their existing road standard manuals with new techniques to reflect a greater emphasis on active transportation. It expands on traditional street standards by including principles for reducing stormwater run-off and other strategies for environmental sustainability.

Interest in the manual reveals a desire to move beyond the traditional standards, which since the 1950s have given us auto dependent communities. With challenges of traffic congestion, air pollution, obesity, and the costs of vehicles and petroluem, people in communities across the country are demanding more options for mobility, beyond single occupancy automobile use. At the same time, we are seeing opportunities to utilize streetscape environments to maximize environmental, economic and social benefits. 

As an illustration of national interest, there has been over 11,000 site visits to the manual’s website from across the country. In addition, leaders at the U.S. Department of Transportation have asked Madeline Brozen, Complete Streets Program Director for the Luskin Center, and transportation planner Ryan Snyder, who coordinated the manual project, to present in Washington, D.C

The “Model Design Manual for Living Streets” is available here.

Cities across the nation may use the manual, free of charge, in any way to meet their needs. They may adopt the entire manual in full, adopt certain chapters in full or part, or modify any part of suit their individual needs. The manual’s easily digestible format with clear graphics allows citizens or engineers alike to use it for a neighborhood, thoroughfare or local street.