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If you have a problematic section of road in your community, here is a great chance to make your solution heard. Check out this design contest from Let’s Save Michigan (LSM). Submissions are due October 18th, no design experience necessary.  You could win a brand new, Michigan-made bike!

Highways for Habitats

Let’s Save Michigan  is giving away a brand new, Michigan-made bicycle for the best design idea for a slice of Michigan roadway. LSM’s Highways for Habitats design competition asks participants to: 1. Identify a road that is a drain on its community, and; 2. Reimagine that road so that it works better for the community it bisects.

Unsafe Street

How would you improve a street like this?

The contest seeks, for example, those five-lane roads that divide a quaint downtown into isolated halves, or separate a neighborhood from a public park—those roads that make their surroundings feel unsafe to pedestrians and bicyclists, families with kids and seniors waiting for the bus. Entries should imagine a new version of that street—one that works for all kinds of users, and that encourages community health and economic development.

Contest participants are asked to submit one photo of the site they select, along with their design and a few words about why it makes sense, at this contest submission page (http://www.letssavemichigan.com/highways-for-habitats-entry-submission/) by Friday, October 18. The public will vote online to select the finalists, with the grand prize and a runner-up to be selected by a panel of judges.

A few words on what to enter: LSM is NOT necessarily expecting professional engineer-caliber drawings. Entrants may simply draw a picture, snap a photo of it with a camera phone and submit that. Everyone has a shot at the prize, as long as the entry effectively gets across the brilliant idea.

To help generate ideas, LSM has been collecting examples from all over the world on the Let’s Save Michigan blog for the past few months in a Highways for Habitats blog series. LSM also has compiled resources from around the country about good road design. Take a look and get inspired.

Entries can be uploaded here: http://www.letssavemichigan.com/highways-for-habitats-entry-submission/.

Detroit Bike

Winner gets a new bike

 

It’s been done all over the world: Roads can conduct vehicles while helping foster community and economic development. With the help of contest participants, Let’s Save Michigan plans to show Michigan’s leaders how it can be done.

LSM would like to thank the grand prize sponsor, Detroit Bikes! and the runner-up prize sponsor, Cross Country Cycle!

The Michigan Municipal League’s Let’s Save Michigan initiative is a citizen engagement and advocacy effort that promotes smart policies to build a restored Michigan—a state with good jobs, vibrant cities, accessible transportation, and first-rate cultural centers.

 

Let’s Save Michigan advocates for policies and practices that support, revitalize, and promote Michigan’s cities. For decades, disinvestment and our auto culture have contributed to the decline of our great public spaces. But thankfully, there is a new understanding in many communities and among many of our leaders that we need to reinvest in our public spaces, and rebuild the public amenities that make people choose to live, work, and play in Michigan’s cities of all sizes. For this contest, the nonprofit Let’s Save Michigan asked stakeholders across Michigan to find an underutilized space in their community—an alley, a pocket park, a vacant lot—and then work together with members of the community to create and design a plan to turn that underutilized space into a welcoming, vibrant public place.

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Sean Mann of Let's Save Michigan discussing the economic benefits for communities that adopt Complete Streets policies.

Katie Birchmeier (10), Conor Waterman (9) and James Kleimola (18) testify in support of Complete Strees with PEAC’s John Waterman.

Complete Streets legislation, H.B. 6151 and 6152, passed* unanimously out of the Senate Transportation Committee today! The Committee had only planned on taking testimony today, but we must have won them over with a packed room, an overflowing table of written testimony and numerous articulate, well-spoken supporters. The bills will now move on to the Senate floor for a full vote.

The room was once again packed with advocates who voiced their support for Complete Streets, including organizations such as SEMCOG, Let’s Save MichiganMid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC) and AARP Michigan to local citizens like Lyndon Babcock and Michelle Miles. After hearing children from the Program to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC) testify, Senator Basham commented, “Certainly, Connor, Katie and James helped me make up my mind.”

The League of Michigan Bicyclists also provided the Committee with a brief powerpoint presentation, on Complete Streets. PDF versions of everyone’s testimony can be found here.

Congratulations to all of our supporters, and a special thank you to those who submitted written testimony and spoke at today’s hearing.

Lansing resident Lyndon Babcock speaks about the need for Complete Streets for people with disabilities.

* The Committee inadvertently excluded H.B. 6152, the second Complete Streets bill in the package, from their vote today. Chairman Gilbert said the committee will discharge H.B. 6152 out of committee with recommendation to the Senate floor.

The Michigan Municipal League (MML) is asking folks to sign a petition of support for Complete Streets on their Let’s Save Michigan website. They recently featured the Complete Streets design principle at their Capitol Conference, and brought national walkability expert Dan Burden to a number of Michigan communities in February.

We are extremely pleased to see that the Let’s Save Michigan blog is asking people to contact their legislators to support HB 6151 & 6152.  While MML has been supportive of the idea of Complete Streets, they have not officially thrown their support behind these specific bills.  MML’s testimony last week before the House Transportation Committee stated that they only support these bills “in concept.”

We expect the House Transportation Committee to vote on these bills this Thursday, June 17. We’ll keep you updated.



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Michigan Complete Streets Photo Stream

Downtown Dexter is a Walkable Community Photo by Michigan Municipal League Fall 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons on Display in Downtown Lansing - Placemaking in Action Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Bus Station in Downtown Ann Arbor Feb 2014 Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Walkability and Placemaking in Downtown Ann Arbor Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Walkability and Placemaking in Downtown Ann Arbor Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Ann Arbor Bikability and Public Transit Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Beautiful Downtown Detroit 2013 Placemaking Photos by Michigan Municipal League

Downtown Dexter and Clock Tower Fall 2012 Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Walkability Expert Dan Burden Measures Parking Lot Entrances During a Walking Audit in Paw Paw Michigan

Physical Design and Walkability in Traverse City with Decorative Brick Crosswalk

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