Ocean Shores’ award winning Complete Streets Program

Ocean Shores, a city of 5500 people on the Olympic Peninsula, is working to make its streets safe and comfortable for all users. Mayor Crystal Dingler and City Council took a major step forward in this effort when they became the first community on the Peninsula to adopt a Complete Streets ordinance, which ensures future roads and street improvements will be designed to work for users of all ages and abilities, whether walking, cycling, using transit or driving. Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Forterra helped Ocean Shores with community outreach and the development of the ordinance.

Forterra listened to and worked with members of the community at workshops to understand their priorities. Community members wanted streets and paths that were safe, enjoyable and family-friendly and connected people with the places they wanted to go. Forterra developed a far-reaching ordinance that sets a framework for creating a connected, healthy and prosperous Ocean Shores in the future. Of the 125 communities nationwide that adopted Complete Streets policies in 2012, Ocean Shores was ranked #4 by the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Rendered example of what a complete street can look like
Rendered example of what a complete street can look like

The city understands that creating safe connections between its stunning beaches, hotels and the retail and commercial core is key for economic development. People are drawn to Ocean Shores for its comfortable, family friendly environment and future street improvements will benefit visitors and residents alike.

Complete Streets improvements are not only about economic development, they also create healthier communities. 33.8% of Grays Harbor County residents are obese and nearly 40% of household trips are less than 2 miles. By improving walking and biking connections people will have more choices for daily physical activity and how they get around.

  • Jeff Aken, Communities Program Manager