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Don’t miss the next Prosperity Agenda focused on Complete Streets in Michigan. Listen here today or tune in at 7 p.m. tomorrow, June 25th, for those who get NewsTalk 760 WJR Radio.

Dan Gilmartin of the Michigan Municipal League and co-host Dustin Block, news director for MLive Detroit, talk about Complete Streets and how these projects are taking hold in Michigan and transforming our communities with guests Suzanne Schulz, Planning Department Director for the City of Grand Rapids, Economic Development Program Manager for the Woodward Avenue Action Association, Jason Fowler, and John Lindenmayer, Advocacy and Policy Director for the League of Michigan Bicyclists and co chair of the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition.

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Grand Rapids (March 22, 2011) – Grand Rapids City Commissioners today adopted a Complete Streets Resolution. The Resolution assures that future transportation projects consider all user groups, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, people in wheelchairs and motor vehicles.

“This is a win for us today and also for the citizens of Grand Rapids,” Kevin McCurren, Chair of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, said. “We worked hard to gain a Bicycle Friendly Community designation for Grand Rapids in October 2009 and we continue to advocate for safe and accessible cycling for everyone.”

The Complete Streets Resolution was written by City Planning Director Suzanne Schultz. Its passage is the first step toward Grand Rapids ultimately adopting a more comprehensive Complete Streets Policy Ordinance.

Complete Streets have bicycle lanes, sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks and attractive landscaping, which lead to a more active lifestyle. They offer the potential for improved public health, a cleaner environment and economic development. Communities that employ the design are more vibrant and inviting while also reducing long-term transportation costs.

Governor Granholm signed Complete Streets into law last year for the State of Michigan. Pubic Acts 134 and 135 require the Michigan Department of Transportation and local governments apply the Complete Streets model in planning and construction of transportation-related projects.

The Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition advocates for change to public policy where it affects cyclists. It is committed to transforming Grand Rapids into a safer cycling community.

To further advance cycling in Grand Rapids, the group will be hosting its second Grand Rapids Bicycle Summit, May 6 at GVSU’s Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids. The daylong conference will offer keynote speakers and workshops for bicyclists, government officials, planners, health officials and the general public. To learn more and to register, visit BikeGrandRapids.org.

View the Resolution Here

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Editorial: Michigan lawmakers should approve Complete Streets bill to focus on more than motorists

The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition would like to sincerely thank the Grand Rapids Editorial Board for their vocal support for Michigan Complete Streets legislation currently before the State Senate.  We couldn’t agree more that, “Michigan can and should do better” and that “It’s time for the state to motor toward smarter transportation planning.”

Visit the M-Live website to read their fantastic editorial.

Mayor Heartwell reads the proclamation.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 13, 2010 Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell opened the first Complete Street in Grand Rapids.

Among those present at the event were members of the disability, bicycling and transit communities, as well as the environmentally astute and representatives from the Dyer-Ives Foundation, The Grand Rapids Foundation, and five of Grand Rapids’ seven City Commissioners.

Here is a short video of Mayor Heartwell reading the proclamation that, among other things, expressed strong support for Complete Streets policies.

Other speakers at the event included Kevin McCurren from the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition, Clark Goodrich from Concerned Citizens for Improved Transportation/Disability Advocates of Kent County, and Conrad Venema from The Rapid.

...and the ribbon is cut!

Grand Rapidians have expressed a strong desire to improve the walkability of their streets, establish a visible presence for cyclists with bike lanes and paths, and support transit use through various planning initiatives such as the 2002 Master Plan and Green Grand Rapids. Lake Drive is the first street in the city to be officially recognized as a Complete Street because of the addition of new on-street bike lanes and sharrows, pedestrian crossings at every intersection, enhanced bus stops with seating, and newly repaved vehicular travel lanes.

This is great first step in working towards completing Michigan’s streets, thanks and congratulations to Grand Rapids for being a leader on implementing policies that make our communities, and our state, more walkable, bikeable and livable!



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