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Thanks to Brian Beauchamp of the Michigan Land Use Institute for his recent blog post supporting the Complete Streets legislation currently before the House Transportation Committee.  In addition to traveling to Lansing to voice support before the House Transportation Committee, MLUI posted a call to action on their blog earlier this week.

We would also like to thank the Michigan League of Conservation Voters for their recent article expressing support of HB 6151 and 6152.  “The Michigan House is pedaling good policy in this case,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters

The Michigan Municipal League (MML) is asking folks to sign a petition of support for Complete Streets on their Let’s Save Michigan website. They recently featured the Complete Streets design principle at their Capitol Conference, and brought national walkability expert Dan Burden to a number of Michigan communities in February.

We are extremely pleased to see that the Let’s Save Michigan blog is asking people to contact their legislators to support HB 6151 & 6152.  While MML has been supportive of the idea of Complete Streets, they have not officially thrown their support behind these specific bills.  MML’s testimony last week before the House Transportation Committee stated that they only support these bills “in concept.”

We expect the House Transportation Committee to vote on these bills this Thursday, June 17. We’ll keep you updated.

Michigan Complete Streets Coalition member, Norm Cox of the American Society of Landscape Architects used his testimony to state that HB 6152 and 6152 is "working to make amends for the lopsided transportation investments of the last 50-60 years," adding, "it's not taking money away, but redistributing it based on changing priorities."

The second House Transportation Committee hearing on Complete Streets legislation,  HB 6151 and 6152, saw the room once again packed with supporters of the policies. The legislation – which seeks to move Michigan away from auto-centric road designs and meet the needs of all roadway users – has attracted strong support from a broad range of advocates. A few of the groups represented at today’s hearing included: The American Heart Association, Crim Fitness Foundation and Citizens for a Safe Community.

The coalition would like to extend thanks to all those who spoke at the meeting today, as well to those that offered written testimony. Chairwoman Byrnes (D – Dist. 52) indicated she plans to hold a vote on the bills next week, and with some organizations like SEMCOG and MML still supporting the bill in concept only, it is important that the committee members continue to hear vocal support for these specific policies.

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Registration is now closed for the League of Michigan Bicyclists, Michigan Mountain Biking Association and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance 2010 Lucinda Means Advocacy Day on May 26. 85 bicyclists from across the state will be meeting in person with their representatives to voice their support for Complete Streets legislation, Michigan House Bills 6151 and 6152. If you’re unable to attend the event, you can still help out fellow bicyclists by participating in our virtual lobbying day.  

GUIDE TO VIRTUAL LOBBYING:

Step 1

Sign our predrafted email to House Transportation Committee Members expressing your support for HB 6151 and 6152. Please put your first and last name in the “Name” field. You are also encouraged to personalize the message using the “Personal Statement” field. The email form can be found at http://citizenspeak.org/node/2032 (this link has been disabled).

Step 2

Call your representative – the combination of face-to-face and phone communications in support of the bills will demonstrate a strong and unified Michigan voice. By putting in your 10-digit zip code at www.votesmart.org, you can determine who your legislators are and find their phone numbers.

We encourage you to use the talking points below to send your own alert encouraging your members to participate.

TALKING POINTS:

  • Complete Streets ensure that our roads are safe, more livable, and accessible to people of all ages and abilities.
  • Complete Streets boosts the economy by increasing residential property values and facilitating retail and commercial development.
  • Complete Streets improve safety and reduce crashes by providing pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure, such as safe crossings, sidewalks or on-road bicycle lanes.
  • Complete Streets promote public health by making it safe and convenient for children and families to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.  

KEY FACTS:

  • The 2001 National Household Transportation Survey reported that 50 percent of all trips in metropolitan areas are 3 miles or less, and 28 percent are 1 mile or less.
  • Complete Streets policies have been adopted in 21 states, including Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • A study in Houston found that 3 out of 5 disabled and elderly citizens do not have sidewalks between their home and the nearest bus stop.

For more specific information, please download our Complete Streets fact sheet. The National Complete Streets Coalition site also has great fact sheets by issue area if you need additional resources.

Download a Word version of this Action Alert and Sample letter by clicking the graphic above.

The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition needs your help to support Complete Streets legislation. The legislation requires communities and road agencies to consider nonmotorized and public transit accommodations to our transportation corridors in state, regional and local planning and implementation processes as a way to create more walkable, bikeable places where children and families can be physically active.

We are asking organizations and their individual members and/or associates to take action.  Show support for this effort by sending your legislators a letter urging them to adopt Michigan House Bills 6151 and 6152.  A template letter of support can be found below.

Organization leaders are also asked to forward these materials to their members and/or associates encouraging them to take action.

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

Step 1
Sign our predrafted email to House Transportation Committee Members expressing your support for HB 6151 and 6152. Please put your first and last name in the “Name” field. You are also encouraged to personalize the message using the “Personal Statement” field. The email form can be found at http://citizenspeak.org/node/2032

Step 2
Using the sample provided on the following page, we also ask that you write a personalized letter to your individual Representative and Senator.

By putting in your 10-digit zip code at www.votesmart.org, you can determine who your legislators are and find their email addresses. Letters can be sent electronically or mailed to representatives and senators at the following addresses:

State Representatives
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909 – 7514

State Senators
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909 – 7536

Step 3
Please mark your calendars for May 27th at 10:30am. The House Transportation Committee will be taking testimony on the these bills.  We would like to fill the room, so please consider attending these hearings.  You may submit verbal or written testimony and/or simply fill out a comment card expressing your support for the legislation.

If you are planning to testify, we’d recommend being strategic and picking one or two angles you’d like to take (e.g. childhood obesity, overall health impacts, aging population, cost savings, environmental benefit, etc), as we are expecting a high level of interest and testimony needs to be short and sweet. If you are interested in submitting testimony, we also ask if that you please contact John Lindenmayer asap so we can attempt to coordinate everyone’s testimony.

Please download our Complete Streets fact sheet to learn more. The National Complete Streets Coalition site also has great fact sheets by issue area if you need additional resources to begin preparing your testimony.

SAMPLE LETTER (please personalize)

(Download Word Version of this Sample Letter)

<Date>, 2010

The Honorable <Name>

Post Office Box

Lansing, MI  48909

<Dear Representative/Senator>:

<I am/Organization is> asking that you support Michigan Complete Streets legislation. House Bills 6151 and 6152 were introduced to encourage communities and road agencies to consider nonmotorized and public transit accommodations to our transportation corridors in state, regional and local planning and implementation processes as a way to create more walkable, bikeable places where children and families can be physically active.

Complete streets policies ensure that infrastructure is designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities can move safely along and across a complete street.  There is no prescription for what a Complete Street looks like.  A Complete Street in a rural area will look different from a Complete Street in a highly urban area, but both are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road.

Complete Streets boost the economy by increasing residential property values because homeowners are willing to pay more to live in walkable communities and businesses located along Complete Streets often see an increase in sales.  Complete Streets improve safety and reduce crashes by providing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, such as safe crossings, sidewalks, or on-road bicycle lanes. Complete Streets promote public health by making it safe and convenient for children and families to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives as a way to combat the obesity epidemic.

Clearly, supporting Complete Streets is investing in a stronger and healthier Michigan.  <I/We> urge you to vote in favor of the Michigan Compete Streets Bills.  Together we can create a more vibrant Michigan.

Sincerely,

<Name>

<Title>



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