Complete Streets Policy

Vision:  Tybee Island seeks to create streets that are safe to travel by even the most vulnerable in our community to include children, the elderly and people of all abilities.  We want to encourage active transportation by making bicycling and walking the preferred methods of moving around the island.

:          Complete Streets means streets that are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, in that pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, people of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a street.

Statement of purpose
:  It is the City of Tybee Island’s goal to consider all modes of transportation when making maintenance or changes to our roads network.  Before any road improvement project is approved the cost of accommodating pedestrians, bicyclists, and people of all abilities must be taken into account. 

Scope of Applicability:  
A. All City-owned transportation facilities in the public right-of-way including, but not limited to, streets, bridges and all other connecting pathways shall be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained so that users of all ages and abilities can travel safely and independently.
B. Privately constructed public streets and public parking lots shall adhere to this policy.
C. The City shall foster partnerships with the Chatham County specifically in regards to Tybee Road (Hwy. 80), neighboring communities, business and Tybee Maritime Academy to develop facilities and accommodations that further the City's complete streets policy and continue such infrastructure beyond the City's borders.
D. The City shall approach every transportation improvement and project phase as an opportunity to create safer, more accessible streets for all users. These phases include, but are not limited to: planning, programming, design, right-of way acquisition, construction, construction engineering, reconstruction, operation and maintenance. Other changes to transportation facilities on streets and rights-of-way, including capital improvements, re-channelization projects and major maintenance, must also be included.


Exceptions may be considered for approval when:

  1. An affected roadway prohibits, by law, use by specified users (such as an interstate freeways or pedestrian malls), in which case a greater effort shall be made to accommodate those specified users elsewhere, including on roadways that cross or otherwise intersect with the affected roadway;
  2. The activities are ordinary maintenance activities designed to keep assets in serviceable condition (e.g. mowing, cleaning, sweeping, spot repair and surface treatments such as chip seal or interim measures);
  3. The Director of Public Works issues a documented exception concluding that the application of Complete Streets principles is unnecessary, unduly cost prohibitive, or inappropriate because it would be contrary to public safety; or
  4. Other available means or factors indicate an absence of need, including future need.

Design Standards:
The City shall follow accepted or adopted design standards and use the best and latest design standards available. These standards include, but are not limited to: ITE Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach; and AASHTO Guide for Planning, Designing and Operating Pedestrian Facilities.

In recognition of context sensitivity, public input and the needs of many users, a flexible, innovative and balanced approach that follows other appropriate design standards may be considered, provided that a comparable level of safety for all users is present.

Performance Measures and Reporting:
A. The City shall measure the success of this Complete Streets policy using, but not limited to, the following performance measures:

  1. Total miles of bike lanes
  2. Linear feet of new pedestrian accommodation
  3. Number of new curb ramps installed along city streets
  4. Crosswalk and intersection improvements
B. An annual report will be made by the Department of Public Works and the Community Development Director to the Mayor and Council showing progress made in implementing this policy. The annual report on the annual increase or decrease for each performance measure contained in this ordinance compared to the previous year(s) shall be posted on-line for each of the above measures.

The City of Tybee Island shall view Complete Streets as integral to everyday transportation decision- making practices and processes. To this end:
  1. The Department of Public Works, the Community Development Department, and other relevant departments, agencies, or committees will incorporate Complete Streets principles into all existing plans, manuals, checklists, decision-trees, rules, regulations, and programs as appropriate (including, but not limited to the Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Capital Program, and other appropriate plans);
  2. The Department of Public Works, the Community Development Department, and other relevant departments, agencies, or committees will review current design standards, including subdivision regulations which apply to new roadway construction, to ensure that they reflect the best available design standards and guidelines, and effectively implement Complete Streets, where feasible;
  3. When available, the City shall encourage staff professional development and training on non- motorized transportation issues through attending conferences, classes, seminars, and workshops;
  4. City staff shall identify all current and potential future sources of funding for street improvements and recommend improvements to the project selection criteria to support Complete Streets projects;
  5. The City shall promote inter-departmental project coordination among City departments with an interest in the activities that occur within the public right-of-way in order to better use fiscal resources;
  6. Every Complete Streets project shall include an educational component to ensure that all users of the transportation system understand and can safely utilize Complete Streets project elements.