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About 160 people attended the Detroit Complete Streets Community Workshop on March 31st. The Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion (DHWP), in collaboration with Detroit Complete Streets Coalition partners including MTGA, were hosts of this free event that introduced Complete Streets, the concept of promoting walking, biking, and transportation for a healthier and safer Detroit.

The workshop included a Complete Streets presentation by Richard Wooten, an extension educator from Michigan State University. The event was catered by Slows Bar B-Q, compliments of the coalition.

Read more on MTGA’s site.

From our partners a the Michigan Municipal League:

This afternoon at the League’s Capital Convention, representatives of the cities of Ferndale, Midland and Mount Pleasant shared experiences from the front lines of efforts to complete their communities’ streets. The three cities are in different stages of implementation, showing the diversity of approaches available to Michigan communities under Michigan’s Complete Streets legislation.

Ferndale Councilwoman Melanie Piana shared her perspective as an elected official who spearheaded the successful efforts to adopt a Complete Streets ordinance. She stressed the importance of building a support team, educating stakeholder groups and strengthening partnerships. She encouraged local government staff and officials to bike their communities to see first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of the network. Complete Streets policy discussions can be a catalyst to coalesce disparate resolutions, policies and processes already in existence within the local government. Ferndale adopted an ordinance but has not yet created a non-motorized transportation plan.

Keith Baker, Midland’s Planning Director, shared a different story about the challenges creating political will for a Complete Streets ordinance. He advocated working incrementally if necessary, starting with a local task force and then building a non-motorized plan. Midland recently adopted a non-binding resolution that is advisory in nature but requires review of all new construction projects.

Jeff Gray and Rich Morrison from Mount Pleasant’s Planning and Economic Development departments showcased examples of innovative projects completed in their city to reduce traffic speeds and increase pedestrian safety without a formal Complete Streets policy in place. They also provided recommendations for dealing with the challenges of redeveloping a state trunkline running through a downtown.

The League’s Complete Streets page provides examples resolutions, policies and other background information.

Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator with the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or lforrest@mml.org.

Reposted from our partners at Transportation Riders United (TRU)

As reported by the Detroit News, Michigan among states vying for $2.4B for high-speed rail:

Michigan and 23 other states have submitted applications for high-speed rail funding after Florida returned money it was allocated.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s office said the state sought more than $200 million for four projects, including $196.5 million for a program to complete a “corridor enhancement program over the next three years between Kalamazoo and Dearborn” and would allow trains to travel up to 110 mph in that stretch.

Tim Hoeffner, MDOT administrator, said the improvement could be completed by the end of 2013 and shave 50 minutes off the Detroit-Chicago train trip – reducing it to about four hours.

“Governors and members of Congress have been clamoring for the opportunity to participate. That’s because they know that high-speed rail will deliver tens of thousands of jobs, spur economic development across their communities and create additional options for their citizens as the country’s population grows,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

In addition to the potential funding, this is also exciting because it clearly demonstrates support from Governor Snyder for high speed rail, for which he has only shown lukewarm support in the past.  This bodes well!

Union Township officials confirmed their commitment to building a vital community by passing a Complete Streets Resolution at their regular meeting on Wednesday, March 23.

The resolution affirms the township is moving towards making the township more walkeable and bikeable and will incorporate Complete Streets concepts in its transportation planning and improvements.

Union Township became the 34th Michigan Community (see comment) to pass a Complete Streets ordinance or resolution in coordination with state legislation that was passed in 2010.

The township has been working with the City of Mount Pleasant, Isabella County, Central Michigan University, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe. Local schools and other institutions and community organizations on a micropolitan area non-motorized transportation plan along with the Greenway Collaborative of Ann Arbor.

Union Township Complete Streets Resolution
▲ Here is a copy of Union Township’s Complete Streets Resolution

It appears that Milford is the first township in Oakland County to have passed a Complete Streets resolution.

According to the Spinal Column:

Milford Township Planning Commission members are reviewing design features as part of the township’s “complete streets” policy to make streets more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.

This comes after the commission passed a complete streets policy resolution in January, which was then adopted by the Milford Township Board of Trustees in February.

The policy allows the Planning Commission to review all street plans to ensure all public and private street projects, including reconstruction, are built to follow the guidelines of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials to accommodate all users of the rights-of-way or private road easements.

“This allows the township to be more involved in street improvements with help from the county and state planning process,” said Milford Township Building Official Timothy Brandt.

View Milford Township’s Resolution Here

Originally posted by Todd Scott.  Read the rest of the story and the resolution on m-bike.org



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