Complete the Streets

Action

The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) asks the State of Michigan to:

  • Design and build State roadways to accommodate all public right-of-way users safely, including bicyclists, pedestrians, people with mobility aids, motorists, and transit users of all ages and abilities.
  • Require all MDOT employees involved in planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of the State transportation system to consider fully the needs of non-motorized travelers.
  • Require all recipients of Act 51 Funds to adhere to the state’s “Complete Streets” policy (see first bullet, above).

Issue
The public right-of-way, our roads, should be designed and built for safe travel by everyone.   Complete Streets laws and policies require that the safety, interests and convenience of all users, including motorists, pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists and those who travel with mobility aids be considered in the design and construction of transportation projects.
Fifty percent of metro-area trips are three miles or less, and 28 percent are less than one mile, yet 65 percent of even the shortest trips are by car.  Incomplete streets are barriers to driving less, partly because they make it unpleasant and dangerous to walk, bicycle, or take transit.

Facts

  • Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) recently introduced the Complete Streets Act of 2009 in the U.S. Senate and House, to ensure that federal transportation infrastructure investments provide safe travel for Americans whether they are driving, bicycling, walking, or taking public transportation.
  • Complete Streets policies have been adopted in more than 80 jurisdictions across the United States, including California, Illinois, and dozens of cities and counties.  In Michigan, the city of Jackson has adopted a Complete Streets resolution and the cities of Lansing and Flint are actively working towards their own local policies.
  • In addition to LMB and the Michigan Environmental Action Council, a wide range of organizations including AARP, YMCA, National Association of Realtors, the American Council of the Blind and many others have lined up behind the measure.  These organizations see the benefits Complete Streets offer on issues ranging from the obesity epidemic to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to providing inexpensive transportation alternatives in tough economic times.
  • Complete streets meet the needs of everyone using the road.  Children can safely travel to school, pedestrians and cyclists have efficient routes to their destinations, and public transit is accessible by all users.
  • We need to provide for the one-third of Americans who do not drive — many of them elderly, poor, or young.  Without walking, biking, or transit, they have no mobility.

For More Information
Download a PDF version of this issue paper and LMB’s legislative priorities at:
www.LMB.org/advocacyagenda.PDF

Contact LMB Associate Director John Lindenmayer directly at 1-888-642-4537.

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