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Grand Rapids (March 22, 2011) – Grand Rapids City Commissioners today adopted a Complete Streets Resolution. The Resolution assures that future transportation projects consider all user groups, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, people in wheelchairs and motor vehicles.
“This is a win for us today and also for the citizens of Grand Rapids,” Kevin McCurren, Chair of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, said. “We worked hard to gain a Bicycle Friendly Community designation for Grand Rapids in October 2009 and we continue to advocate for safe and accessible cycling for everyone.”
The Complete Streets Resolution was written by City Planning Director Suzanne Schultz. Its passage is the first step toward Grand Rapids ultimately adopting a more comprehensive Complete Streets Policy Ordinance.
Complete Streets have bicycle lanes, sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks and attractive landscaping, which lead to a more active lifestyle. They offer the potential for improved public health, a cleaner environment and economic development. Communities that employ the design are more vibrant and inviting while also reducing long-term transportation costs.
Governor Granholm signed Complete Streets into law last year for the State of Michigan. Pubic Acts 134 and 135 require the Michigan Department of Transportation and local governments apply the Complete Streets model in planning and construction of transportation-related projects.
The Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition advocates for change to public policy where it affects cyclists. It is committed to transforming Grand Rapids into a safer cycling community.
To further advance cycling in Grand Rapids, the group will be hosting its second Grand Rapids Bicycle Summit, May 6 at GVSU’s Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids. The daylong conference will offer keynote speakers and workshops for bicyclists, government officials, planners, health officials and the general public. To learn more and to register, visit BikeGrandRapids.org.
By Kim North Shine
The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition is cruising down a path of success as it spreads its campaign of “Building roadways that move people not just automobiles” around the state.
Not only did the organization win Campaign of the Year from the Alliance for Biking and Walking at a national summit last week, each week more and more municipalities are signing on to the Complete Streets approach, which means road construction and improvements will take into account non-motorized uses.
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Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance will be on the road this spring and early summer, training both public officials and citizens alike on Complete Streets. Included in the training will be an overview of Complete Streets, its benefits, local policy development, stakeholder engagement, and gauging community readiness. Stay tuned as we line up more dates and locations and notify us by phone at 517.485.6022 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate in any particular session. The trainings are available at no charge because they have been provided through a DALMAC grant from the Tri-County Bicycle Association, but they do require an RSVP. See below for the dates in your area.
March 25: Detroit Greenways Coalition
March 26: Michigan Bicycle Summit (Lansing)
April 5: Woodmere Library, Traverse City from 5-7 pm
April 19: Cadillac (time/location TBD)
April 20: Grayling (time/location TBD)
April 26: 2011 Bay College, Escanaba (time TBD)
April 27: City Hall and Memorial Building, Ironwood from 5:30-8 p.m.
May 16: Oakland Green Summit (part of day-long environmental stewardship summit), Oakland Intermediate School District
Via My Wheel Are Turning (MyWHat)
Connected Community: Complete Streets
Tuesday April 5 • 5:30-8PM at the Traverse City Area District Library
TART, a MyWHaT underwriter, will be convening a community conversation about Complete Streets on April 5th. The event is intended as an introduction and discussion of Complete Streets and how the policy is a starting point to a more connected community. This author will facilitate an introductory discussion of the concept and current legislation. In addition to myself, Nancy Krupiarz, the Executive Director of the Michigan Trails and Greenway Alliance, will connect how other communities are coming together, creating complete streets, and how these statewide actions are interconnected.
32 Michigan communities now support street construction with designs that are inclusive to all users with resolutions or ordinances. Michigan actually leads the country in local governments passing specific Complete Street policies.
This is a participatory session with plenty of time for questions, input and connecting with other people in the community who want to build a better community. We have a lot of grand assets in our favor and complete streets is just one of the pieces needed to continue to harness that potential. We trust that participants will go away with a better understanding of what they can do to build a more connected community.
A follow-up meeting is anticipated.
See you Tuesday April 5th at 5:30PM at the Traverse Area District Main Library.
If you’re interested in more information, send a message below or call the TART Trails office at (231) 941-4300.
By Eli Cooper
The Ann Arbor City Council embraced “Complete Streets” at its March 7 meeting. This action enables the city to be recognized as a leader in providing public facilities in a manner that meets the needs of all users. I used a broad term – public facilities – not just streets or roads. That would have been a simpler, easier to understand term you might have expected to read. But no, this is a bit more complicated. All users? Aren’t streets provided for cars to drive on?
What does this action mean to me, you might wonder? What are complete streets anyway? Is a street that allows one to drive from one end of town to another a complete street? If only some streets are complete, what are incomplete streets? Why should I care?
Streets are not exclusively for cars, never have been. Yes, I know, we are in Michigan, the car capital of the nation and world. Home of the Big Three! Surely, a Complete Street allows one to drive on it. But no, that is not the story here. Let’s step back and review a bit of transportation history. I will keep the history part short, promise. I’ll bet you know streets and roads existed prior to automobiles. In fact, walkers, carriages, horses, mules, etc., bicyclists and others shared our streets long before the introduction and widespread use of the automobile.
. . . Post continued on Concetratemedia.
The City of Lathrup Village has launched a Complete Streets Program. The goals are to develop a Master Plan amendment addressing complete streets, adopt a complete streets ordinance, and prepare a capital improvement program for Complete Streets. The City is being assisted by Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., planning and traffic consultants based in Lathrup Village.
Michigan continues to lead the nation in adopting local complete streets ordinances and resolutions. On the heals of the League of Michigan Bicyclists receiving national recognition for the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition, we are pleased to report that the momentum is not slowing down. In March we have the pleasure to add the City of Ann Arbor and Burt Township to our growing list of communities who have adopted policies that support all modes of transportation in future road projects. Based on census data, Michigan’s 32 policies equates to 24% (2,352,874) of our state’s population living in a community with a complete streets resolution or ordinance.
At its March 7, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council adopted a resolution expressing its commitment to the concept of “complete streets” – the idea that streets should be constructed to accommodate a full range of users, from pedestrians, to bicyclists, to public transit vehicles, to privately owned automobiles.
Read more of this article on the Ann Arbor Chronicle.
We are honored to report that the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) was awarded the Winning Campaign of the Year by the Alliance for Biking and Walking for our success with the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition. The Alliance made the following post to its members concerning the award:
At the start of 2010, Michigan had just one local complete streets ordinance. By the end of the year, there were more than 20 communities with complete streets policies [Michigan has increased this to 32 communities since the beginning of the year!] and the Governor had signed a new statewide complete streets law. That incredible and rapid transformation was sparked and spurred by advocates from the League of Michigan Bicyclists, who helped to create a powerful Michigan Complete Streets Coalition with over 100 diverse partner organizations. That powerful, unified voice led to the passage of a statewide complete streets bill, the adoption of policies in a number of communities and a new priority within the state Department of Transportation to plan streets that safely accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. Thanks in large part to this Winning Campaign, the state that spent the last century focused on all things automotive is now leading the way in the Great Lakes region.
Since 2009, the Alliance has solicited public nominations and recognized the individuals, organizations and business leaders who are propelling our People Powered Movement.
“Our 2011 award winners represent all corners of the continent and a variety of different campaigns and initiatives to increase biking and walking,” Jeff Miller, Alliance President/CEO, said. “But they are all shining examples of the energy, enthusiasm and progress of the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement – a movement that is transforming communities across North America.”
Associate Director John Lindenmayer and Board Vice Chair Rory Neuner received the award on behalf of LMB at a special reception following the opening plenary of the National Bike Summit in Washington DC on March 8th.
LMB is extremely honored to have received this recognition and look forward to continuing our partnership with AARP of Michigan, Michigan Environmental Council and the rest of the Coalition to advance complete streets across the state.
The Department of Health & Wellness Promotion is hosting a Complete Streets workshop to discuss walking, biking and transportation in Detroit on March 31, 2011, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The event is free and dinner will be provided by Slows BBQ compliments of the Complete Streets Coalition. Featured Guest Speaker will be Richard Wooten, Extension Educator at MSU. More details below: