Michigan Complete Streets Coalition Co-Chair John Lindenmayer with USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood and Sarah Schillio, Legislative Director for Michigan State Representative Lee Gonzales at the 2010 National Bicycle Summit.

Last week’s National Bicycle Summit brought 13 Michigan cycling advocates to Washington DC. to lobby for congressional support complete streets. The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition (MCSC) was well represented in the Michigan Delegation with representatives from the League of Michigan Bicyclists, American Cycle & Fitness, Wheelhouse Detroit, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and PEAC. The Michigan delegation did an amazing job advocating for complete streets during our visits with Senators Levin and Stabenow and all 15 Michigan Representatives.The MCSC  would like to also thank all the Michigan advocates who participated in LMB’s Virtual Lobby Day, supporting our face to face meetings with phone calls from back home.

As a follow up to the National Bicycle Summit Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood made a major announcement yesterday, throwing even more support towards the inclusion of pedestrians and bicyclists in all roadway projects in his Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations Regulations and Recommendations.

It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting Secretary of Transportation.

On his blog, Secretary LaHood writes:

Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.

We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:

  • Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
  • Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
  • Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.

Now, this is a start, but it’s an important start. These initial steps forward will help us move forward even further.

Video: A malfunctioning microphone didn’t stop Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood from thanking a packed crowd and expressing his support for bicycling from atop a tabletop at the closing reception for the 2010 National Bicycle Summit.