Downtown Lancaster, California. Photo courtesy of the City of Lancaster.
A Complete Streets approach helped Lancaster, California revitalize its commercial core and win the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for Overall Excellence.
After decades of decline, the city’s downtown, centered on Lancaster Boulevard, had become home to rising crime and unemployment rates. Automobiles regularly travelled at speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour, and many of the intersections were controlled by traffic signals. Residents believed that the street was dangerous to cross and unpleasant to walk and shop along.