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HOUGHTON – Houghton City Council gave pedestrians, cyclists and transit users an early Christmas present last night by passing a Complete Streets Ordinance, effective January 1, 2011. Houghton becomes the sixth Michigan city, and the first in the Upper Peninsula, to enact a Complete Streets ordinance. An additional 16 Michigan cities have passed resolutions supporting the use of Complete Streets design principles, giving Michigan more such policies than any other state.

The Houghton ordinance calls for transportation improvement projects which “…provide appropriate accommodation for bicyclists, pedestrians, transit users and motorists of all ages and abilities.” It further states that all street plans, including new roads and renovations, shall include such accommodations as sidewalks, curb ramps, bike lanes and signage to “…maximize walkable and bikeable streets wherever feasible.”

The ordinance also specifies that street projects should incorporate elements of Houghton’s bike and pedestrian plans and various state and national design criteria, in order to improve access and safety for all user groups. It also provides for certain exceptions, such as when “…the cost (of the transportation enhancement project) would be excessively disproportionate to the need for probable use.”

Prior to the vote, Houghton Mayor Robert Backon convened a public hearing on the proposed ordinance. Ray Sharp, a community health planner at Western U.P. Health Department, told the council that Complete Streets can improve a city’s livability, economy, health, safety and prospects for future state and federal transportation funding.

Houghton Bike Task Force chairperson Margot Hutchins thanked the council for their efforts to make Houghton more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. The council passed a Bike Friendly City resolution in April, and in September, Houghton was recognized by the League of American Cyclists as a bike-friendly city, one of just 158 nationwide.

The bike task force will now begin work on an Active Transportation Plan, a document which will include recommendations for transportation projects that reflect the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and people with disabilities.

Western U.P. Health Department works with local governments to enact policies that support healthy lifestyles and have the potential to reduce chronic disease. The agency and its local partners have received grants from Michigan Department of Community Health’s Building Healthy Communities program and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program to work toward community policies and infrastructure that encourage people to be physically active and make healthy food choices.

Download Houghton Ordinance
Download Houghton Fact Sheet

Additonal news coverage in the Mining Gazette.

Scott MacInnes, Houghton City Manager

Ray Sharp, Western U.P. Health Department Manager of Community Planning

Thanks Gary from MyWheelsAreTurning for posting this video made by a “recovering engineer” who now blogs at Strong Town Blog. Sorry to all our engineering friends out there, but this is just too funny!

This just in from our Coalition friends at Disability Network/Lakeshore & Citizens for a Safer Community:

City of Allegan’s passage of a Complete Streets Resolution represents the 21st policy passed in the State of Michigan! Thank you to City Manager Rob Hillard and Mayor Morton for their continued support of Complete Streets! Disability Network/Lakeshore and Citizens for a Safer Community are so excited to be serving the City of Allegan and are very excited for West Michigan to finally hit the map in publicly supporting COMPLETE STREETS!

The City Council anonymously approved Resolution 10.42: “Supporting the “Complete Streets” Policy for the City of Allegan” on December 13, 2010. Thank you so much to all of the City Council members including: Mayor Mike Morton, David Williams, Tom Clark, John Hotchkiss, Rachel McKenzie, Ed Kowalski and Rick Day!

The City of Allegan isn’t stopping there, however. At next week’s Planning Commission meeting a discussion will begin on expanding the resolution into an ordinance along with developing a Non-motorized Master Plan for the City.

A public hearing was also recently held on a proposal for a Non-motorized pathway on Hooker Road, Bond Street and 5th Street, that will connect the Sports Complex, Perrigo Company’s campus, several apartment complexes and the west side of the City to other City parks and the downtown business district. The project received broad community support and a grant application was submitted this week with the expectation the project will move forward next year.

We look forward to replicating this passion and dedication on the Complete Streets Policy across the West Michigan area!” said Petra Robert, President of Citizens for a Safer Community.

For questions regarding the Resolution, please contact Rob Hillard, City Manager: or 269.673.5511.

To learn more Disability Network/Lakeshore visit:
To learn more about Citizens for a Safer Community contact: Petra Robbert at (269) 686-2405,

Download Allegan’s Complete Streets Resolution

Today’s (12/13) Complete Streets Advisory Council meeting is canceled due to weather —

Editor’s note: We reported on Tuesday, that Michigan now boasts the most Complete Streets policies in the country.  We are proud to report that since we sent out that press release, we have actually added three more Michigan policies from the Cities of Taylor, St. Ignace and the Village of Mackinaw City.  Michigan now has 20 policies in place along with our statewide law.  We will post more information about the recently adopted policies in Taylor and St. Ignace in the upcoming days.  In the meantime, CONGRATULATIONS Mackinaw City!

The Mackinaw City Village Council approved a Complete Streets resolution at its December 2, 2010 Council meeting. The Village believes that the objective of Complete Streets provides economic and health benefits to the residents and visitors of the Village.

The Resolution identifies the Village’s commitment to incorporate Complete Streets design into future planning and infrastructure documents, as well as implementing its features into future projects.

The Village of Mackinaw City takes great pride in its nine streetscape corridors featuring paver sidewalks and bicycle access. Complete Streets has challenged and energized the Village to continue the incorporation of Complete Street features into existing corridors and to plan for future construction projects.

The Village has recently adopted a community Hike and Bike Plan to implement additional Complete Street features such as sharrows, bicycle lanes, sidewalk extensions, crosswalk upgrades, and signage improvements.

Download Resolution
Download Hike and Bike Plan

The Michigan Department of Transportation has finalized their selections for the Complete Streets Advisory Council and will host their first meeting on Dec 13, 2010 from 1 – 3 pm in the Lake Superior Room within the Historical Center in Lansing. You can learn more about the Advisory Council and see the agenda for the first meeting on MDOT’s website. The following individuals were selected to serve on the Advisory Council:

Organization Named
in Act
Affiliation Representative Title
State Transportation Department MDOT Kirk Steudle
or designee
Department of Community Health MDCH Janet Olszewski
or designee
Department of State Police MSP Capt. Monica Yesh-(Col. Washington’s designee) Captain
State Transportation Commission STC Linda Miller-Atkinson-
(Chairman Wahby’s
Vice Chairwoman
Environmental Organization Grand Traverse Regional
Land Conservancy
Megan Olds Associate Director
A Planning Organization Michigan Association of
Andrea Brown Executive Director
Disabled Persons Organization Michigan Disability Network Jim Magyar Executive Director
Road Commission Organization County Road Association of Michigan John Niemela Director
Public Transit Users Organization Wheelhouse Detroit Kelli Kavanaugh Local business owner
& regular transit rider
Licensed Professional Engineer Oakland County Road
Gary Piotrowicz Traffic & Safety
Department Manager
The Michigan Municipal League The Michigan
Municipal League
Suzanne Schulz Legislative Associate
AARP AARP Michigan Karen Kafantaris Assoc. State Director
for Community Servs
League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) Region 8 Representative Barbara Schmid Secretary, LMB Board of Directors
Pedestrian Organization Safe Routes to School
National Partnership
Rory Neuner State Network Manager
Michigan Public Transit Association Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Christopher White Manager of Service Development
The Michigan  Township Association Delta Township Ken Fletcher Township Supervisor
Michigan Department of Resources
& Energy (non-voting)
MDNRE Rebecca Humphries DNRE Director
Michigan State Housing Development Authority (non-voting) MSHDA Gary Heidel Interim Director

The City of Taylor has joined a nationwide movement to make our streets safer for all of their users. At the meeting held on December 7, members of Taylor’s City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance to provide for “Complete Streets.”

“The goal is to put emphasis on the pedestrian or cyclist and not the motorized vehicle. We spend plenty of planning time thinking about traffic flow and not enough time considering accessibility and safety for everyone,” said Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand.

This point was recently empathized in a short discussion between the Mayor and local students during his visit to a local elementary school. The students expressed concerns regarding their safety while travelling in and around their neighborhoods and their difficulty crossing major thoroughfares without any major hazards.

Taylor makes the 5th Complete Streets Ordinance to be adopted in Michigan, along with a growing list of resolutions.

The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition congratulates the City of Taylor on this great accomplishment!

For more information, please contact the City of Taylor, Public Information Office: (734) 374-1447

Download Complete Streets Ordinance

We are pleased to report that on December 6, 2010, St. Ignace unanimously adopted a Complete Streets resolution.  Congratulations St. Ignace!

Download Word version of the following resolution.

The following Resolution was offered for adoption by Mayor Pro-Tern Gustafson, supported by Mayor Grondin:

WHEREAS, increasing walking and bicycling offers the potential for greater health of the population and more livable communities; and

WHEREAS, a Complete Street is safe, comfortable, and convenient for travel by automobile, foot, bicycle and transit regardless of age or ability; and

WHEREAS, the Michigan legislature has passed Complete Streets legislation that requires the Michigan Department of Transportation and local governments to consider all users in transportation related projects; and

WHEREAS, the Michigan Planning Enabling Act has been amended, requiring that all transportation improvements identified in a plan are appropriate to the context of the community and considers all legal users of the public right of way; and

WHEREAS, Complete Streets support economic growth and community stability by providing accessible and efficient connections between home, school, work, recreation and retail destinations by improving the pedestrian and vehicular environments throughout communities; and

WHEREAS, the City of St. Ignace recognizes the importance of street infrastructure and modifications, such as the non-motorized transportation plan, which shall include, at a minimum, accommodations for accessibility, sidewalks, curb ramps and cuts, trains, pathways and signage and shall incorporate principles of complete streets and maximize walkable streets within the City.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of St. Ignace supports the Complete Streets approach to right-of-way improvements and shall adopt a non-motorized transportation plan. This plan shall be approved by the Planning Commission, in consultation with the City Manager, the Department of Public Works, the Recreation Department and the Downtown Development Authority Director before Council consideration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of St. Ignace accept a  $5,000 grant from the Saint Tribe Strategic Alliance for Health (SAH) for the study for the City of St. Ignace; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, after initial adoption, the non-motorized transportation plan shall be updated regularly as part of the City master plan update process.

Roll Call Vote:

Yes:       Councilmembers Della-Moretta, Fullerton, Mayor Pro-Tern Gustafson, Councilmembers LaLonde, Mayor Grondin, Councilmember Clapperton.

No:       None.

Absent:   Councilmember Wyse.

Resolution declared Adopted.

I hereby certify that the above Resolution is a true copy of a Resolution presented to the St. Ignace City Council for adoption at a regular meeting held Monday, December 6, 2010, at 8:00 p.m.

Vonderwerth. City Clerk

EDITOR’s NOTE: For an updated list of Michigan’s Complete Streets policies, click here.

Michigan communities are leaders in planning for a 21st Century transportation network. The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition and Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan partners announced today that Michigan now leads the nation with 19 communities adopting local complete streets policies. The National Complete Streets Coalition confirmed that out of all 50 states, Michigan had the highest number of local complete streets resolutions and ordinances adopted. California had the second highest number of local policies, with a total of 14.

“It is very encouraging to see so many Michigan communities embrace complete streets. Michigan should be extremely proud that we are on the frontline of a new era in transportation policy that encourages walkable and bikeable communities, said John Lindenmayer, Associate Director of the League of Michigan Bicyclists and Co-founder of the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition. “Complete streets are good for the environment, good for the economy, and they promote public safety while also encouraging healthier lifestyles.”

Adopting and implementing a complete streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consider community context and consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users of all ages and abilities in mind, including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, pedestrians, and motorists. Through complete streets policies, Michigan locals are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable and welcoming to everyone.

Lauren Holaly, Active Living Coordinator at the Crim Fitness Foundation said that she is seeing a shift in how local complete streets advocates are working with planners, engineers and decision-makers. “Increasingly, community advocates are vocalizing that investment in complete streets can offer long-term cost savings and result in a variety of community benefits. The great thing is that local decision-makers and municipal officials are listening. This signifies that they are thinking more innovatively about how to transform a community and revitalize Michigan.”

An abundance of newly adopted complete streets resolutions and ordinances comes on the heels of the August passage of PA 134 and 135 which made Michigan the 14th state in the nation to adopt statewide complete streets legislation. PA 134 requires the Michigan Department of Transportation to adopt a complete streets policy and work with locals to provide complete streets technical assistance, while PA 135 requires complete streets principles be included in local master plans.

The 19 Michigan communities (see policy map) that have adopted complete Streets policies are:

City of Berkley; Village of Dexter; City of Ferndale; City of Flint; Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission; City of Hamtramck; Ingham County; Jackson Area Comprehensive Transportation Study (MPO); Jackson County; City of Jackson; City of Lansing; City of Linden; Village of Mackinaw City; City of Manistique; City of Midland; City of Novi; City of Saline; City of St. Ignace; City of Sault Ste. Marie.

The work in these Michigan communities mirrors efforts across the country to adopt complete streets policies. In total, nearly 200 complete streets policies have been adopted across the country since the movement began in 2003.

Michigan complete streets successes are due to a multi-year, collaborative effort with partners from the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition (MCSC), the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan (HKHM) Coalition, and strong support from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Community Health. The MCSC ( was co-founded in 2008 by the League of Michigan Bicyclists, AARP of Michigan, and the Michigan Environmental Council, and is comprised of more than 100 member organizations, business, and community groups. HKHM ( is a coalition of more than 110 organizations that are working to reduce childhood obesity through strategic policy initiatives.

John Lindenmayer,
League of Michigan Bicyclists

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