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Sean Mann of Let's Save Michigan discussing the economic benefits for communities that adopt Complete Streets policies.

Katie Birchmeier (10), Conor Waterman (9) and James Kleimola (18) testify in support of Complete Strees with PEAC’s John Waterman.

Complete Streets legislation, H.B. 6151 and 6152, passed* unanimously out of the Senate Transportation Committee today! The Committee had only planned on taking testimony today, but we must have won them over with a packed room, an overflowing table of written testimony and numerous articulate, well-spoken supporters. The bills will now move on to the Senate floor for a full vote.

The room was once again packed with advocates who voiced their support for Complete Streets, including organizations such as SEMCOG, Let’s Save MichiganMid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC) and AARP Michigan to local citizens like Lyndon Babcock and Michelle Miles. After hearing children from the Program to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC) testify, Senator Basham commented, “Certainly, Connor, Katie and James helped me make up my mind.”

The League of Michigan Bicyclists also provided the Committee with a brief powerpoint presentation, on Complete Streets. PDF versions of everyone’s testimony can be found here.

Congratulations to all of our supporters, and a special thank you to those who submitted written testimony and spoke at today’s hearing.

Lansing resident Lyndon Babcock speaks about the need for Complete Streets for people with disabilities.

* The Committee inadvertently excluded H.B. 6152, the second Complete Streets bill in the package, from their vote today. Chairman Gilbert said the committee will discharge H.B. 6152 out of committee with recommendation to the Senate floor.

As we reported last week, the Michigan Senate Transportation Committee is taking testimony on Complete Streets legislation (HB 6151 and 6152) this Wednesday, July 21.  The hearing will be at 11 am (or immediately following session) in room 100 of the Farnum Building in Lansing. If you are planning to attend or testify, please contact john@LMB.org. We are asking all Complete Streets supporters to contact Senate Transportation Committee members in support of these bills before Wednesday’s hearing.

A sample letter is provided below.  Please personalize the message and email it to all five Senators on the Transportation Committee.  If you are from the district’s of any of the Transportation Committee members, please make special note of that in your communications.

Senate Transportation Committee Members:


Jud Gilbert
(Chair):
senjgilbert@senate.michigan.gov
(517) 373-7708

Roger Kahn
(Vice Chair):
senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov
(517) 373-1760

Gerald Van Woerkom
:
sengvanwoerkom@senate.michigan.gov
(517) 373-1635

Raymond Basham
(Minority – Vice Chair):
senrbasham@senate.michigan.gov
(517) 373-7800

John Gleason:

senjgleason@senate.michigan.gov
(517) 373-0142

Sample Letter:

Please personalize

Subject: Support HB 6151 & 6152 – Complete Michigan Streets

Dear Senate Transportation Committee,

I am 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. The House Transportation Committee unanimously passed the bills, and on the floor of the House of Representatives the bills received overwhelming support. HB 6151 passed with a vote of 85 to 21 and HB 6152 passed 84 to 22.

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 urge you to vote in favor of the Michigan Compete Streets Bills.  Together we can create a more vibrant Michigan.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Your Organization
123 Your St.
Yousville, MI 12345
Phone: (123) 456-7890



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