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Bikes Belong, a national organization sponsored by the U.S. bicycle industry with the goal of putting more people on bicycles more often, is accepting applications for Community Partnership Grants. The grants are designed to foster and support partnerships between local governments, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses working to improve the environment for bicycling.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be largely will be awarded to fund the construction or expansion of bicycle facilities such as bike lanes, trails, and paths. The grants committee also will consider advocacy projects that promote bicycling as a safe and accessible mode of transportation.

To be eligible for a grant, a partnership must include collaboration between at least one city/county government office or department; one nonprofit organization with a mission specific to bicycling, trails, or recreation; and one local business.

As we reported on October 1, MDOT’s appropriation in the 2011 transportation budget included boilerplate language related to the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program and Complete Streets in Section 321 that states,

“In evaluating and awarding enhancement grants, the department shall give preference to applicants which have adopted complete streets policies. In addition, the department shall give preference to enhancement grant applications which further complete streets policy objectives. The department shall report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on transportation, and the house and senate fiscal agencies, on or before March 1, 2011, on the specific actions taken to comply with the intent of this section.”

Complete Streets was an easy fit into TE Program criteria as Complete Streets objectives and TE projects are both aimed at producing an enhanced transportation network that plays an important role in the livability of our communities. The Complete Streets legislation advanced the importance of cooperation and coordination among transportation agencies and stakeholders to consider the context of the area and stakeholder needs when developing transportation projects.

Amber Thelen, MDOT’s TE Program Manager said “The TE Program looks forward to the successful transportation projects and potential TE projects that will come from this type of project development process.”

As a result, MDOT  has updated the TE project competitiveness factors to include Complete Streets. Specifically, the following items were added as factors that make a project competitive for TE funding:

  • “Projects identified as a result of a community’s Complete Streets stakeholder involvement process.”
  • “Projects supporting a community’s Complete Streets policy…”

These updated factors are included on page 2 of the, “Project Competitiveness Details” document found at

MDOT has also proposed changes to their updated online grant application per this screen shot. The updated online grant application system will be implemented next year. In the meantime, applicants who have Complete Streets policies are asked to provide information about their policy and how the proposed TE project supports this policy within “Attachment A” (the narrative section) of the current online grant application.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposed project with a grant coordinator before starting an application. A map and contact information for the grant coordinators is available at, under “Contact Us.”

Questions can be directed to:

Amber Thelen
TE Program Manager
Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Economic Development
(517) 241-1456

In 2010, the Cardiovascular Health, Physical Activity and Nutrition Section at the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in partnership with Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan Coalition received a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support the passage of a state level complete streets resolution and future legislation.  The funding is also intended to support efforts by local health departments to pass complete streets ordinances in their communities.

Michigan Department of Community Health is also contributing additional funding to the effort.  Seven health departments were awarded grants of $12,000 a piece to support local complete streets efforts.

“Passage of complete streets ordinances will help insure that our communities accommodate all forms of transportation and not just automobiles,” said Lisa Grost, Public Health Consultant for MDCH. “Increasing safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and improving physical activity levels through active infrastructure is a win-win for Michigan communities.”

For the 2010 grant year, the following local health departments and communities have been awarded the ARRA-Complete Streets grant:

Local Health Department Community
Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion City of Detroit
Washtenaw County Health Department City of Saline
Ingham County Health Department City of East Lansing
Western U.P County Health Department City of Houghton
Marquette County Health Department Marquette Township
Genesee County Health Department City of Flint and City of Linden
Jackson County Health Department City of Jackson

Michigan Complete Streets Coalition Co-Chair John Lindenmayer with USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood and Sarah Schillio, Legislative Director for Michigan State Representative Lee Gonzales at the 2010 National Bicycle Summit.

Last week’s National Bicycle Summit brought 13 Michigan cycling advocates to Washington DC. to lobby for congressional support complete streets. The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition (MCSC) was well represented in the Michigan Delegation with representatives from the League of Michigan Bicyclists, American Cycle & Fitness, Wheelhouse Detroit, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and PEAC. The Michigan delegation did an amazing job advocating for complete streets during our visits with Senators Levin and Stabenow and all 15 Michigan Representatives.The MCSC  would like to also thank all the Michigan advocates who participated in LMB’s Virtual Lobby Day, supporting our face to face meetings with phone calls from back home.

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Michigan Department of Transportation has received training funds for Michigan to support Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety as well as encourage bicycling and walking through FHWA.

Communities can apply to host these community/regional training courses with the obvious benefit of having your local streets being critiqued by experts to make them more walkable, bikeable and ADA compliant. These courses support a diverse array of current local, state and national efforts including healthy livable communities, complete streets, context sensitive solutions, sustainable communities; just to name a few.

Click the Read More link below for a description of the three training courses your community is eligible to host or to send participates to. The training interest application is due March 25, 2010. Inquires can be made to Cindy Krupp or Deb Wedley

Download Training Application

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Rep. Jon Switalski (D - Warren) Pushes For Complete Streets in Michigan

Rep. Jon Switalski (D - Warren) Pushes For Complete Streets in Michigan

LANSING, MI – June 18, 2009 – Representative Jon Switalski introduced Complete Streets language to the House version of the transportation bill this morning. With little debate, the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee passed Section 399 of Senate Bill No. 254 H-1. The substitute language states, “The department [MDOT] and local road agencies that receive appropriations under this act shall adopt complete street policies.” (See complete language below)

Today’s passage marks the first efforts by the Michigan Legislator to adopt a statewide Complete Streets policy to build and maintain roadways that accommodate all roadway users “particularly public transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians (including individuals of all ages and individuals with mobility, sensory, neurological, or hidden disabilities), and motorists, to enable all travelers to use the roadway safely and efficiently.”
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