This article originally appeared in the AARP Bulletin Today on March 1, 2010.

Can pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles share safe streets?

Cyclists and walkers won a major victory in Lansing last year. After thousands of citizens petitioned for a ballot initiative, the Lansing city council agreed to invest about $400,000 a year to make streets safer for non-motorists.

As a next step, volunteers will conduct walkability surveys to identify areas that need work. Kafantaris said she is looking for volunteers for the Lansing survey and is building a network of activists in other cities. To join the effort, e-mail kkafantaris@aarp.org.

Elsewhere in the state: A group called Safe and Active Genesee for Everyone is pushing for a more accessible transportation network. Traverse City’s new infrastructure strategy emphasizes sidewalks and bike lanes. Marquette narrowed a downtown portion of Wright Street from four lanes to two with a center lane and four-foot bike lanes on both sides.

At the state level, lawmakers approved a 2009-10 budget last year that encourages the Department of Transportation to adopt complete streets policies and assist local governments in doing the same. Supporters hope the legislature will enact stronger legislation this year.

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