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The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently posted the following Complete Streets FAQ document to their website.

According to Walk Score, the 65 largest cities in Michigan have an average Walk Score of 46. The most walkable cities in Michigan are Hamtramck, Ferndale, and Madison Heights. The least walkable cities are Forest Hills, Allendale, and Norton Shores.

City Walk Score Population
Hamtramck 69.7656 22,176
Ferndale 64.8001 19,634
Madison Heights 63.8249 29,542
Mount Pleasant 61.7884 25,985
Birmingham 60.3946 19,956
Ann Arbor 59.8564 112,674
Bay City 59.8069 34,788
Ypsilanti 59.6608 19,317
Eastpointe 59.5506 32,484
Royal Oak 59.132 57,334
Southgate 57.5833 29,800
Dearborn 57.5231 98,142
East Lansing 57.2831 48,669
Jackson 56.704 33,572
Oak Park 55.9012 29,365
Adrian 55.3049 20,923
Marquette 55.1753 21,324
Monroe 54.7585 20,458
Lincoln Park 54.5449 38,099
Grand Rapids 54.3065 187,794
Roseville 53.4824 47,145
Allen Park 53.3304 28,569
Wayne 52.6947 17,554
Holland 52.0349 32,945
Kalamazoo 51.1594 74,080
Detroit 50.9319 713,110
Garden City 50.6911 27,849
Trenton 50.5172 18,701
Wyandotte 50.3316 25,943
Dearborn Heights 49.9835 57,685
Flint 49.5444 102,376
Warren 49.2412 133,954
Muskegon 48.8662 38,065
St. Clair Shores 48.828 59,743
Lansing 48.691 113,877
Livonia 45.9098 96,933
Pontiac 45.4796 59,467
Saginaw 45.4681 51,089
Southfield 45.3944 71,893
Westland 45.2097 83,959
Wyoming 44.256 72,139
Waverly 41.3952 23,722
Taylor 40.9896 62,830
Sterling Heights 40.9298 129,782
Battle Creek 40.7205 52,203
Inkster 40.6972 25,279
Troy 38.1339 81,305
Midland 37.3351 41,743
Auburn Hills 36.0071 21,338
Okemos 35.174 21,415
Port Huron 34.3328 30,059
Farmington Hills 34.2541 79,857
Walker 33.351 23,572
Kentwood 33.27 48,544
Burton 32.4158 30,096
Rochester Hills 31.9219 70,951
Novi 31.0852 55,095
Portage 29.9784 46,139
Haslett 29.504 19,139
Jenison 29.2745 16,501
Holt 29.1518 23,920
Romulus 25.2301 23,916
Norton Shores 24.1968 24,052
Allendale 22.6448 17,555
Forest Hills 16.4751 25,847

Taking a major step toward ensuring its streets, sidewalks and pathways are as safe, welcoming and functional as possible for all types of users, the City of Williamston has passed a Complete Streets ordinance, becoming the 7th Michigan community to do so. Adopted unanimously by the City Council at its June 12 meeting, the ordinance calls for a number of next steps, including that the City develop a Comprehensive Non-Motorized Transportation Plan to be incorporated into the City’s Master Plan when it is revised in 2012.

“This Complete Streets ordinance is the first step toward creating an even better experience for all those who travel in or through Williamston, whether they do so on foot or bike, or in a wheelchair, car or some other mode of transportation,” said Michael Gradis, Associate Planner for McKenna Associates and staff planner for the City of Williamston. “The positive effects of this ordinance will be seen very soon and yet last for generations.”

Among other things, the Complete Streets ordinance will help create better links between destinations within the City, including Williamston Schools, the commercial downtown and McCormick Park, Williamston Industrial Park, and newly constructed neighborhoods. The Non-Motorized Transportation Plan will also propose connections to surrounding communities.

With input from Williamston’s Department of Public Works and Police Department, Gradis and McKenna Principal Planner Greg Milliken, AICP, approached City Council about the merits of Complete Streets and drafted the ordinance that was eventually adopted.

The City has discussed a number of initiatives in conjunction with recent downtown streetscape and park improvements—all focused around the idea of “placemaking,” a term used to describe the process of creating spaces that are pleasurable, interesting and useful for new or existing users.

“By improving existing non-motorized infrastructure and expanding the non-motorized network throughout the City, we hope spaces once skipped over or not enjoyed will be reclaimed—particularly by new non-motorized users,” said Milliken.

Working for the City of Williamston, Gradis and Milliken have already begun drafting the Comprehensive Non-Motorized Transportation Plan and will soon conduct a series of brainstorming sessions with elected officials, other staff and the public.

By enacting the Complete Streets ordinance, Williamston has moved closer to its goals of encouraging healthy, active living; improving non-motorized mobility options; and improving the safety and quality of life of all its residents.

Download Williamston’s Complete Streets Ordinance

For more information:
Michael Gradis
Associate Planner, McKenna Associates
Staff Planner, City of Williamston, MI
248.596.0920
mgradis@mcka.com

###

The next regular meeting of the Complete Streets Advisory Council will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2011 in the Capital Commons Center, 400 South Pine, Lansing, MI, commencing at the hour of 2:00 p.m.

The 16-member council was appointed last fall in accordance with Public Act 135 of 2010. The group’s role, according to law, is to advise the State Transportation Commission, county road commissions and municipalities on Complete Streets policies. The law also requires the State Transportation Commission to enact a Complete Streets policy by August 2012. A “complete street” refers to a roadway that provides appropriate access to all legal users, including motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and those traveling by assistive devices such as wheelchairs.

All meetings of the Complete Streets Advisory Council are open to the public, and attendance is encouraged.  Any individuals needing special assistance to attend the meeting should contact Michelle Myers in the Intermodal Policy Division at 517-241-0754.  For those who cannot attend the meeting in person, but would like to listen to the proceedings, they can do so through a conference phone line by calling 877-873-8018 and using pass code 3327994#.  Callers can submit their public comments in writing to:

Michelle Myers, Departmental Specialist
Intermodal Policy Division
Michigan Department of Transportation
PO Box 30050, 425 W. Ottawa
Lansing, MI 48909
CompleteStreetsAC@michigan.gov

Complete Streets Advisory Council members represent road and transit agencies, state agencies, walking and biking organizations, and environmental, senior citizens and disabled persons groups. More information is available on the MDOT Web site at: www.michigan.gov/completestreets.

Winning Campaigns Training
Date: August 26 – August 28
Location: Lansing (Michigan Fitness Foundation,1213 Center Street)

Looking for a great way to jumpstart a local Complete Streets campaign?  Have a policy already and trying to figure out how to implement it?  Look no further!



The Alliance for Biking and Walking’s signature Winning Campaigns Training uses proven curriculum targeted specifically to the unique needs and experience of bicycle and pedestrian advocates. This sought-after workshop, conducted in cities across North America, creates new advocates and reignites veteran organizers with critical skills to effect immediate change in their communities. In just three days, participants learn key organizing tactics in strategizing, funding and conducting campaigns that transform the transportation landscape in their cities and states. These trainings are intended for any potential campaign leader in your organization who would benefit from gaining the tools to craft and manage powerful advocacy campaigns.

Advocacy Advance: Tapping Federal Funding

This training will mirror the curriculum of a traditional Winning Campaigns Training, but will be specifically focused on campaigns that relate to Advocacy Advance, a partnership between the Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists aimed at doubling federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects by 2013.

REGISTER HERE:
http://bit.ly/kuodjN

For more information about Advocacy Advance:
www.advocacyadvance.org

To read the reports produced by the Advocacy Advance team:
http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/reports/

Tentative Scheduling Information:

The training begins Friday afternoon from 5 to 9 p.m. The training continues Saturday 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a break in the middle of the day for a bike ride. Saturday’s training is followed by a social gathering out on the town. Finally, Sunday’s schedule is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., allowing a participant more than 18 hours of training devoted to developing a winning campaign.

Registration includes snacks Friday evening, and breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday. A bicycle or walking tour Saturday evening is also included.

Pricing Information:

Early registrations must be received by Fri, July 29, 2011 and cost $75 for Alliance members; $125 for non-members

Regular Registrations cost $100 for Alliance members; $150 for non-members

Scholarships:

A limited number of scholarships are available, courtesy of our sponsor, Clif Bar. To apply, please e-mail mike@PeoplePoweredMovement.org with the following information: name, organization, reason you are requesting a scholarship. As this training works best when several individuals from an organization attend, priority will be given to organizations that are sending multiple participants to the training. Requests will be considered on a rolling basis and responded to within 4 weeks . Scholarship requests should be submitted early for best chance at receiving limited funds.

About the Host Organization:

The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) is a non-profit, statewide membership organization that promotes bicycling and the safety of bicyclists on the roadways in Michigan. Since 1981 LMB has worked towards improved bicycle facilities and the acceptance of responsible bicyclists as legitimate road users. LMB works to educate bicyclists, public officials, and the general public about the benefits of cycling and the rights of bicyclists. LMB hosts numerous annual events including the Michigan Bicycle Summit, Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day and a number of multi-day bicycle tours.

About the Host City:

Lansing is Michigan’s capital city, and an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, business, and high-tech manufacturing institutions. The home of state government and many thriving businesses, downtown is buzzing with activity day and night. Just three miles away from the state capitol building is the scenic campus of Michigan State University. Connecting downtown to the MSU campus is the award-winning 13-mile Lansing Rivertrail, the region’s premier non-motorized facility. The City of Lansing has made major strides in recent years to become more pedestrian and bike-friendly, including passing Michigan’s first complete streets ordinance in 2009, and becoming a League of American Bicyclists’ Bike-Friendly Community in 2010

REGISTER HERE:
http://bit.ly/kuodjN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE via Disability Network/Lakeshore

Grand Haven, MI – The City of Grand Haven renewed their commitment to creating a safe and an inclusive community at their regular scheduled City Council meeting on July 18, 2011.

Grand Haven City Council members unanimously approved a Complete Streets Resolution to continue current practices of making the City more accommodating to walkers and bicyclists. The resolution comes after a presentation was made by Disability Network/Lakeshore to the City Council at their July 5th meeting indicating the benefits of such a resolution.

Complete Streets are achieved when local organizations and agencies routinely plan, design, construct, re-construct, operate, and maintain the transportation network to improve travel conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities in a manner consistent with, and supportive of, the surrounding community.

City Manager of Grand Haven, Pat McGinnis, drafted a resolution of support for the council to vote on Monday night. McGinnis urged the City Council to adopt the resolution of support stating, “Mobility is important in our community and by passing this resolution we are making a commitment to both ourselves and our citizens that safety and accessibility are key considerations in the planning process.”

Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist for Disability Network/Lakeshore, also indicated a benefit of such a resolution is that, “by passing a Complete Streets resolution, there is the potential for priority when applying for transportation enhancement grants through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Communities passing resolutions or ordinances in support of Complete Streets may receive priority when MDOT is making grant considerations.”

Two council members showed concern for passing a resolution stating the City already practices Complete Streets concepts so what is the point for a resolution.

However, on the July 5th meeting Gray stated, “The City of Grand Haven is already making several strides in designing a walkable and livable community as seen in their 2010 City Master Plan but there are always new ways of looking at the planning process and perfecting the process to ensure safe and accessible transportation routes – for both motorized and non-motorized users.”

Manager McGinnis thanked Disability Network/Lakeshore for their technical expertise in presenting to the City Council and in assisting in drafting a resolution of support for the City. Gray is a certified trainer of Complete Streets from the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Complete Streets Institute.

Over 40 Michigan communities have adopted a Complete Street ordinance or resolution. The City of Grand Haven joins the City of Holland, City of Allegan and the City of Grand Rapids in the West Michigan area in passing such resolutions.

Download Resolution

For more information:

Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist
Disability Network/Lakeshore
(616) 396-5326
kathryn@dnlakeshore.org

Key Congressional leaders are attacking Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails and are taking steps to cut off dedicated federal funding for walking and biking. Please act NOW!

We Action_Alertneed every single person who simply wants safe options to walk or bicycle to contact their Senators and Representative today at this link sponsored by Safe Routes to School National Partnership! Just click here, and put in your zip code and the names of your congressional delegates will appear with a message you can send to them. It’s that easy to act to protect dedicated funding for biking and walking.

Read on for more information:

House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-FL) announced yesterday that his transportation bill will eliminate dedicated funding for bicycling and walking, including Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trails Program, and discourage states from choosing to spend their dollars on these activities that are “not in the federal interest.” Chairman Mica’s statement that these programs remain “eligible” for funding is worthless; without dedicated funding for these three programs, they are effectively eliminated.

Things on the Senate side are not much better. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the lead Republican negotiator on the transportation bill, declared that one of his TOP THREE priorities for the transportation bill is to eliminate ‘frivolous spending for bike trails.’ This is in direct conflict with Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) commitment to maintain dedicated funding for biking and walking. However, the Senate is working towards a bi-partisan solution, and Senator Inhofe’s comments mean funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs is at risk of total elimination.

Help protect Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails. Contact your Members of Congress and tell them to reach out to Senators Inhofe, Boxer, and Congressman Mica to urge them to continue dedicated funding for these important bicycling and walking programs.

Do you need some good facts to further bolster your argument?

Not in the federal interest? Biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips in the US, even as funding for biking and walking projects only accounts for 1.5% of the federal transportation budget. That is more than 4 billion bicycle trips and 40 billion walking trips a year, including trips to work, school, shopping and for recreation and tourism.

Frivolous? Two-thirds of all pedestrian deaths are on federally funded highways. One-third of children’s traffic deaths happen when children are walking or bicycling and are struck by cars. Bicycling and walking programs build sidewalks, crosswalks and bikeways-improving accessibility and saving lives.

The Facts

  • Biking and walking are important forms of transportation, and funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is a very efficient use of federal transportation dollars. Portland, OR built 300 miles of bike lanes and trails for the cost of one mile of highway.
  • These projects create jobs and build local economies. Building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure creates 46% more jobs than building road-only projects per million dollars spent. Cities that invest in bicycle and pedestrian projects turn downtowns into destinations, and capitalize on increased business activity.
  • Eliminating the 1.5% of transportation funding spent on bike/ped would have no meaningful impact on the federal budget, but would decrease transportation options for American families in a time of rising gas prices and an uncertain economy.

Why Act Now? Both the House and Senate long-term transportation bills are being written as we speak. We still have a chance of influencing the outcomes. Let’s make sure that funding for biking and walking programs don’t disappear for many years.

We need every Senator to tell Senators Boxer and Inhofe that bicycling and walking are vital parts of our transportation system, and that there must be dedicated funding for sidewalks, bike lanes and trails to ensure that bicyclists and pedestrians are safe. And we need every Representative in the House to tell Chairman Mica the same.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives TODAY to tell them that bicycling and walking are a critical part of a safe and equitable transportation system. Ask them to tell Representative Mica and Senators Boxer and Inhofe that a federal transportation bill must continue dedicated funding for bicycling and walking.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE via Disability Network/Lakeshore

Grand Haven, MI – On Tuesday night, Grand Haven city council members listened to a presentation by Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist for Disability Network/Lakeshore, regarding Complete Streets.

Complete Streets are achieved when local organizations and agencies routinely plan, design, construct, re-construct, operate, and maintain the transportation network to improve travel conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities in a manner consistent with, and supportive of, the surrounding community.

Several weeks ago, City Council asked Council man Bob Monetza and City planner, Kristin Keery, to prepare a presentation for the City Council regarding Complete Streets policies. In researching the issue, staff discovered that there is a Michigan Complete Streets Coalition that is active in their area. Both Monetza and Keery agreed that it was best to allow the experts to present the issue to Council and then support any further direction.

Development of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit infrastructure offers long term cost savings, improved public health, economic development, a cleaner environment, reduced transportation costs, enhanced community connections, social equity, and more livable communities. Streets that support and invite multiple uses, including safe, active, and ample space are more conducive to public life and efficient movement of people than streets designed primarily to move automobiles.

Gray stated, “The City of Grand Haven is already making several strides in designing a walkable and livable community as seen in their 2010 City Master Plan.” Gray pointed out the several areas where the City is already working in implementing Complete Streets strategies in her presentation to the council.

“However, there is always more a city can do to create a sense of belonging which truly represents the citizens of Grand Haven. Because of the dedication towards building welcoming and accessible community, the City of Grand Haven is a perfect fit for implementation Complete Streets policies.”

Mayor Bergman urged Manager Pat McGinnis and his staff to draft a resolution of support for the City Council to review at a later date. Keery offered in her letter to the Council that the staff would be prepared to provide draft language at the July 18th council meeting.

Over 40 Michigan communities have adopted a Complete Street ordinance or resolution – only three communities in West Michigan have adopted a policy.

For more information:

Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist
Disability Network/Lakeshore
(616) 396-5326
kathryn@dnlakeshore.org

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) recently released the following map overlaying complete streets ordinances and resolutions in Michigan against locations where complete streets trainings have occurred. It certainly appears that these trainings are having a dramatic impact.  Of the 43 policies on the map, all but 16 are within counties where trainings have occurred.

We are pleased to see such a strong correlation and commend the efforts of MDCH and all the partners involved in developing the Michigan Complete Streets Institute Training modules.  The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance also have provided tremendous leadership in organizing local training sessions across the state the past few months.  Likewise Michigan Citizen Planner offered an extensive  Complete Streets Workshop Series across the state this Spring.



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Michigan Complete Streets Photo Stream

Downtown Dexter is a Walkable Community Photo by Michigan Municipal League Fall 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbons on Display in Downtown Lansing - Placemaking in Action Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Bus Station in Downtown Ann Arbor Feb 2014 Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Walkability and Placemaking in Downtown Ann Arbor Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Walkability and Placemaking in Downtown Ann Arbor Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Ann Arbor Bikability and Public Transit Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Beautiful Downtown Detroit 2013 Placemaking Photos by Michigan Municipal League

Downtown Dexter and Clock Tower Fall 2012 Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Walkability Expert Dan Burden Measures Parking Lot Entrances During a Walking Audit in Paw Paw Michigan

Physical Design and Walkability in Traverse City with Decorative Brick Crosswalk

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