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 (www.micompletestreets.org) 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 (www.healthykidshealthymich.com) 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