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