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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE via Disability Network/Lakeshore
Grand Haven, MI – The City of Grand Haven renewed their commitment to creating a safe and an inclusive community at their regular scheduled City Council meeting on July 18, 2011.
Grand Haven City Council members unanimously approved a Complete Streets Resolution to continue current practices of making the City more accommodating to walkers and bicyclists. The resolution comes after a presentation was made by Disability Network/Lakeshore to the City Council at their July 5th meeting indicating the benefits of such a resolution.
Complete Streets are achieved when local organizations and agencies routinely plan, design, construct, re-construct, operate, and maintain the transportation network to improve travel conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities in a manner consistent with, and supportive of, the surrounding community.
City Manager of Grand Haven, Pat McGinnis, drafted a resolution of support for the council to vote on Monday night. McGinnis urged the City Council to adopt the resolution of support stating, “Mobility is important in our community and by passing this resolution we are making a commitment to both ourselves and our citizens that safety and accessibility are key considerations in the planning process.”
Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist for Disability Network/Lakeshore, also indicated a benefit of such a resolution is that, “by passing a Complete Streets resolution, there is the potential for priority when applying for transportation enhancement grants through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Communities passing resolutions or ordinances in support of Complete Streets may receive priority when MDOT is making grant considerations.”
Two council members showed concern for passing a resolution stating the City already practices Complete Streets concepts so what is the point for a resolution.
However, on the July 5th meeting Gray stated, “The City of Grand Haven is already making several strides in designing a walkable and livable community as seen in their 2010 City Master Plan but there are always new ways of looking at the planning process and perfecting the process to ensure safe and accessible transportation routes – for both motorized and non-motorized users.”
Manager McGinnis thanked Disability Network/Lakeshore for their technical expertise in presenting to the City Council and in assisting in drafting a resolution of support for the City. Gray is a certified trainer of Complete Streets from the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Complete Streets Institute.
Over 40 Michigan communities have adopted a Complete Street ordinance or resolution. The City of Grand Haven joins the City of Holland, City of Allegan and the City of Grand Rapids in the West Michigan area in passing such resolutions.
For more information:
The Oakland Township Board of Trustees voted to pass a resolution supporting the Michigan Complete Streets program [on April 12], which helps “ensure that engineers and planners design roadways to accommodate all users, not just motorists,” according to the coalition’s website [that’s us!].
“In many cases, this means curb ramps, audible or tactile signals for blind pedestrians, longer crossing times, smooth sidewalks and bike paths that are free of obstacles and transit stops that can be easily boarded,” the website says.
Read the rest of this article by Jen Anesi in the Oakland Township Patch
I am excited to announce that the City of Holland unanimously passed a Complete Streets Resolution at their regular City Council session last night. The City of Holland is the second in the Disability Network/Lakeshore’s service area (Allegan + Ottawa counties) to have passed a Complete Streets resolution – the City of Allegan passed their resolution in December of last year.
The City of Holland is one of the local units of government that Disability Network/Lakeshore has been working closely with since the May 2010 Complete Streets Panel Event and the November 2010 Livable Communities Event to develop a Complete Streets Policy. Phil Meyer, Director of Community & Neighborhood Services, Jodi Syens, Director of Transportation Services, and Brian White, City Engineer were all very committed to the process including holding several study sessions in designing the resolution.
City of Holland was eager to pass the policy based on the fact that they already implement many of the concepts of Complete Streets within their planning processes. This policy only supports their current processes and ensures that all users are being considered when designing or reconstructing the City’s transportation network.
“The City has been aggressive about examining complete streets issues in all of its street construction, reconstruction, sidewalk improvement, and bike facility efforts as a matter of normal course of doing business. These issues, often involving participation of neighborhood residents, businesses, and other property owners, are well-considered in the context of the specific conditions of a particular project, as well as in the context of the larger City-wide (and beyond) network” said Phil Meyer, Director of Community & Neighborhood Services. “The most recent example of a positive process and end result was the reconstruction of 40th Street. Also, this past summer, the City participated with the Lakeshore Disability Network in their three-part program looking at livability issues in the community, with a heavy focus on “complete streets” issues. The Network is a very strong advocate for the adoption of complete streets policies across the region, as are a number of other organizations.”
The passage of this resolution moves the count up to 39 for Michigan approved complete streets resolutions or ordinances (that we are aware of). The City of Holland is the third for West Michigan, after the City of Allegan (12/10) and the City of Grand Rapids (3/11).
Congratulations to the City of Holland and West Michigan complete streets supporters!
Editor’s note: We reported on Tuesday, that Michigan now boasts the most Complete Streets policies in the country. We are proud to report that since we sent out that press release, we have actually added three more Michigan policies from the Cities of Taylor, St. Ignace and the Village of Mackinaw City. Michigan now has 20 policies in place along with our statewide law. We will post more information about the recently adopted policies in Taylor and St. Ignace in the upcoming days. In the meantime, CONGRATULATIONS Mackinaw City!
The Mackinaw City Village Council approved a Complete Streets resolution at its December 2, 2010 Council meeting. The Village believes that the objective of Complete Streets provides economic and health benefits to the residents and visitors of the Village.
The Resolution identifies the Village’s commitment to incorporate Complete Streets design into future planning and infrastructure documents, as well as implementing its features into future projects.
The Village of Mackinaw City takes great pride in its nine streetscape corridors featuring paver sidewalks and bicycle access. Complete Streets has challenged and energized the Village to continue the incorporation of Complete Street features into existing corridors and to plan for future construction projects.
The Village has recently adopted a community Hike and Bike Plan to implement additional Complete Street features such as sharrows, bicycle lanes, sidewalk extensions, crosswalk upgrades, and signage improvements.
As m-bike reported however, we probably should not expect the city to complete any streets in the near term. City Council is also halting all non-emergency work by their public works department as they explore the possibility of declaring bankruptcy.
Their financial issues are really a shame because they have been doing some interesting master planning. Their preliminary recommendation presentation (from July 28, 2010) included these transportation goals:
Make Hamtramck’s streets and sidewalks safer and more accessible for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Improve right of ways to promote the city’s image, create a more pleasant public realm, and strengthen connections between neighborhoods. Create better transit connections within Hamtramck and to/from locations outside the city
The Community Policy Action Team of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan Coalition needs your help to support the adoption of a Complete Streets Resolution. The resolution encourages communities and road agencies to consider infrastructure as active infrastructure 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 answer the call. Organization leaders are asked to forward the materials below to their members and/or associates inviting them to take action. Show support for this effort by sending your legislators a letter urging them to adopt Michigan House Concurrent Resolution 34.
For your convenience, a sample letter is below. It can also be downloaded here as a Word Document. Links to the resolution and a Complete Streets fact sheet are also below for your information. Please use your discretion whether you want to include a copy of the resolution and/or fact sheet when sending the letter of support. Letters can be sent electronically or mailed to representatives and senators at the following addresses: Read the rest of this entry »
Today State Representative Jon Switalski introduced House Resolution 187 to express support for active transportation infrastructure options that promote walking and bicycle usage and reduce childhood obesity. Representative Pam Byrnes also introduced a companion House Concurrent Resolution, HCR 034.
Dubbed the “Complete Streets Resolution”, this piece is the work of a Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan workgroup, which includes a wide array of advocates working to improve active infrastructure options and reduce childhood obesity. It is the hope of the workgroup that the resolution will help educate lawmakers and citizens about the benefits of active infrastructure. The workgroup also supports the eventual passage of a standalone bill.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan (HKHM) Complete Streets Task Force distributes Complete Streets Resolution to all Michigan Legislators.
Download the HKHM Complete Streets Resolution.
Background on HKHM:
In 2007, Governor Granholm received a one-year grant award from the National Governors Association through the Healthy Kids, Healthy America program. This program was designed to provide the nation’s governors with the opportunity and means to make progress in addressing childhood obesity in schools and communities in their state. Governor Granholm’s project, Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan, worked with executive-level decision-makers from government, public and private sectors, school districts, health care and non-profit organizations to create a multi-year strategic policy agenda to reduce childhood obesity in Michigan.
Over the year-long Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan project, more than 100 organizations collaborated to explore and prioritize policy options to confront childhood obesity. A five-year strategic plan has been developed and a set of first-year priorities identified.