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By: Myra Marie Tetteh, MPP
Detroit Complete Streets Coalition Coordinator
The Detroit Complete Streets Coalition is continuing to grow. Current members include the following city departments: Department of Public Works (DPW), City Planning Commission (CPC), Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), Detroit Police Department (DPD), Planning and Development Department (PDD); community members; Wayne State University; and organizations such as the AARP, City Connect Detroit, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Transit Riders United (TRU), and Warriors on Wheels (WOW). The coalition has met monthly since May 2010 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Thus far, the coalition has held three community events and has participated in several others. The first event held back in March (2011) was attended by over 150 people and sponsored in part by Slow’s BBQ and the Gaelic League. The most recent events sponsored in part by the AARP and Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative, held in early November (2011) were attended by approximately 100 people from various organizations and members of the community. The three events have educated residents on complete streets, highlighted local complete streets infrastructure, and allowed participants to give a glimpse of what improvements they wish to see.
The Detroit Complete Streets Coalition worked together to draft an ordinance to require complete streets planning for appropriate street projects. The ordinance when passed will be a big step for the city of Detroit to affirm its commitment to pedestrian and bicycle safety through infrastructure improvements for its residents and users. Currently, the ordinance is in the Law Department and following the official legal review the ordinance will be introduced by City Council and voted on for approval. It is our hope that though the city of Detroit is undergoing finance difficulties that this ordinance is not lost in the shuffle; improving health, safety, and community cohesiveness is a necessity in any economic time.
To learn more about the Detroit Complete Coalition or its work please contact us via email at email@example.com, visit us on the web at www.detroitcompletestreets.org, or like us on Facebook at the Complete Streets in Detroit page.
UPDATE: @WalkBikeRollMI We’re excited about the webinar, but it’s unfortunately not open to general public. Looking into ways to offer it more widely.
December 1, 2011, 2:00 p.m. Eastern
A common concern in transportation agencies is that implementing Complete Streets policies will cost too much. This in-depth, hour and a half long webinar will provide several strategies for responding to this concern, including examples and resources from communities that have overcome this issue. The webinar will provide Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) teams with information both about the low cost of many complete streets treatments, as well as ways to talk to transportation professionals about the added value and community support that result from complete streets implementation.
The council’s role is to advise the State Transportation Commission and other agencies on the development of streets that provide appropriate access and promote safe and efficient movement of people and goods whether by car, truck, transit, assistive device, foot, or bicycle.
“Our state’s transportation network is a key component of Michigan’s reinvention,” Snyder said. “I am confident Carolyn will provide valuable insight to the council as it helps ensure accessible and varied transportation options across Michigan.”
Grawi is the director of advocacy and education at the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. She also is a field instructor for social work programs at Eastern Michigan University, where she works to ensure that the Americans with Disabilities Act provides access as needed to individuals with disabilities. Grawi previously worked to improve curb ramp accessibility in the cities of Ann Arbor, Monroe and Ypsilanti as well as to enhance accessibility throughout Ann Arbor Public Schools. She was awarded the University of Michigan’s James T. Neubacher Certificate of Appreciation for her work on behalf of people with disabilities. Grawi earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
Grawi will serve the remainder of a three-year term expiring Sept. 30, 2013, and replaces Jim Magyar. The appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
As a result of planning efforts for “Complete Streets,” the City of Lathrup Village has adopted an ordinance that will help facilitate future street, bike facility, and sidewalk improvements.
With assistance of Lathrup Village‐based Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., a Michigan planning firm that specializes in downtown planning and transportation consulting, the City Council and Planning Commission have been developing a Non‐Motorized Transportation Plan (NMTP), a Non‐Motorized Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and a Complete Streets Ordinance. The purpose of these efforts is to guide the planning, design, construction and reconstruction of roadways, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and other transportation facilities, making them “Complete Streets.”
Recent legislation adopted in Michigan provides a method for achieving “Complete Streets” in communities across the state. “Complete Streets” is a relatively new term that describes a transportation network that provide safe and efficient access to users, whether they travel by car, truck, transit, assistive device, foot, or bicycle. In Lathrup Village, plans for street and sidewalk repairs are made annually. However, the City recognized the need to address non‐motorized transportation more fully and with an emphasis on improving the connectivity in and around the entire City, despite the physical boundaries of Southfield Road and I‐696, which bisect the City from east to west, and north to south, respectively.
The Reverend Oscar King III, a Lathrup Village Planning Commissioner, sums up the “Complete Streets” planning efforts by noting, “In my sense, it redefines Lathrup Village so that it becomes something more than somewhere people drive through, getting to somewhere else. It becomes a destination, a wellplanned destination, that can respond to what was, what is, and allow us to plan for the future.”
Birchler Arroyo Associates Inc. vice‐president Rod Arroyo agrees, “With the Complete Streets Ordinance, the City is taking a big picture approach to creating a complete transportation network for its residents and businesses. “ The new ordinance will require the City to consider how improvements can be made to the non‐motorized transportation network when other types of public infrastructure projects are undertaken.
The Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on the Complete Streets‐Non‐motorized Transportation Plan on November 8 and anticipates that the plan will be adopted as an amendment to the City’s Master Plan by December.
Lathrup Village, Michigan is in a highly desirable location in southern Oakland County. Conveniently located off I‐696, the City is within easy reach of the areas major cities and destinations. It has a population of over 4,500 and covers 1 1/2 square miles. The majority of its commercial uses are located on Southfield Road, an important north‐south arterial. Jeff Mueller is the City Administrator. Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc. is a planning and transportation consulting firm located in Lathrup Village, MI. Since 1989, Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., has been a leader in community planning and transportation consulting in southeast Michigan. The firm’s award‐winning plans and tools have been recognized at the state and national levels for planning excellence. For more information on Birchler Arroyo Associates, Inc., please contact Rod Arroyo at 248.423.1776 or visit their website: www.birchlerarroyo.com
The 16-member council was appointed 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.
If you need special assistance to attend the Nov. 17 meeting, contact Dorothy Thompson:
Intermodal Policy Division
Michigan Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 30050, 425 W. Ottawa
Lansing, Michigan 48909
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 online at: www.michigan.gov/completestreets