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The Michigan Association of Planning, in partnership with the Michigan Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Program, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), and the Michigan Municipal League (MML), is launching its 3rd annual Transportation Bonanza!  This event was designed to bring together professionals from the fields of planning, education, transportation, health, engineering, natural resource and environmental protection, architecture, landscape architecture, and others to align around the topic of community building for health and accessibility.

We think that this year’s focus on the crossroads of schools and communities might appeal to your membership, constituents, partners, and/or staff. Transportation Bonanza 3 will deliver national and state experts to explore school facilities planning, how to implement Safe Routes to School successfully, collaborations between school districts and communities, public policies that impact the education system, and more.

Through valuable partnerships, the Transportation Bonanza series has continued to evolve from general transportation topics in its inaugural year to this year’s conference focusing on understanding the relationships between schools, community, and transportation; Safe Route to School; and Complete Streets. The benefits of attending are many and
include:

  • Learning about the intricacies and interconnectedness of communities, public health, schools, and transportation
  • Being better equipped to work with colleagues across multiple disciplines
  • The registration price is a good value for the information provided
  • Networking with colleagues across multiple disciplines

Just as the road networks we use to transport ourselves and our goods across multiple jurisdictions and cut through a variety of landscapes, so too do transportation planners, engineers, and advocates work with and through a variety of disciplines to enhance and improve our road systems. While each session is designed to relate to transportation in a unique way, from the relationship to schools to local government funding, there is an entire track dedicated to Context Sensitive Solutions and Complete Streets.

Date: February 16, 2012
Location: Lansing Center, Lansing
8:00 AM to 5:15 PM
Program: A full day of national experts and local perspectives, includes lunch, instruction, and refreshments.
Registration: $49 and online at http://planningmi.org/tb.asp

The Michigan Chapter of the American Planning Association published an extensive and explanatory article about complete streets in its monthly magazine, the Michigan Planner.  A word version of the article, written by Brad Strader, can be downloaded here. Great work!

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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