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The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is promoting a series of “walkability” audits in 17 communities around the state, designed to provide a hands-on evaluation of the walking conditions in a portion of the community, with active discussion of design improvement ideas. There is no charge for participants to take part in a walk or attend a presentation. The audits are designed to help city engineers, planners, officials and residents, health education professionals and others realize the benefits of providing a safe and attractive environment for walking. The audits will be conducted by Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, who has 38 years of experience in developing, promoting and evaluating active transportation facilities, traffic calming practices and walkable communities. Audits will be conducted from Aug. 16 – 27. A complete list of audits and contact information is available on the MDOT Web site under Roads and Travel under Alternatives to Driving.
The Charter Township of Delta is pleased to announce that Delta Township was chosen as a host community for a Walking Audit with Dan Burden along with two presentations of the findings of that walk. Dan Burden is the nation’s most recognized authority on walkable communities, bicycle & pedestrian programs, street corridor & intersection design, traffic flow & calming, road diets, and other planning elements that affect roadway environments. Dan is also sought after by the health community, promoting neighborhoods, villages, and cities that are designed for more active, interactive, and healthy living. Dan has 38 years of experience in developing, promoting and evaluating alternative transportation facilities, traffic calming practices and sustainable community design. To learn more about Dan and walkable communities please refer to these web sites: http://www.walkable.org and www.walklive.org. The walk and presentations will be held Wednesday August 25,2010. We will meet and prepare for the walk in Room A of the Delta Township Administration building. The walk will begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue until about 12:30 p.m. Arrangements have been made for an EATRAN bus to facilitate movement from one location of the walk to another to maximize our time with Mr. Burden. Following the walk Mr. Burden will seek seclusion while he prepares a presentation based on the findings of our walk. The first presentation is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Another presentation will be given at 6:30 p.m. Both presentations will be in the Waverly Middle School Auditorium at the corner of Snow Road and St. Joe Hwy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Deb Wedley email@example.com.
Can pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles share safe streets?
Cyclists and walkers won a major victory in Lansing last year. After thousands of citizens petitioned for a ballot initiative, the Lansing city council agreed to invest about $400,000 a year to make streets safer for non-motorists.
As a next step, volunteers will conduct walkability surveys to identify areas that need work. Kafantaris said she is looking for volunteers for the Lansing survey and is building a network of activists in other cities. To join the effort, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elsewhere in the state: A group called Safe and Active Genesee for Everyone is pushing for a more accessible transportation network. Traverse City’s new infrastructure strategy emphasizes sidewalks and bike lanes. Marquette narrowed a downtown portion of Wright Street from four lanes to two with a center lane and four-foot bike lanes on both sides.
At the state level, lawmakers approved a 2009-10 budget last year that encourages the Department of Transportation to adopt complete streets policies and assist local governments in doing the same. Supporters hope the legislature will enact stronger legislation this year.
Earlier this month, our friends at the Michigan Municipal League hosted a walkability workshop with nationally renowned expert Dan Burden. In addition to the full day workshop, Dan Burden facilitated walking audits in several Michigan communities. Below are links to the workshop materials and media coverage the various events received.
Dan Burden’s Workshop Materials:
Part 1: Health and Sustainability
Part 2: Placemaking
Part 3: Transportation Tools
Recent Stories, Photos and Posts About Walkability Audits with Dan Burden:
- Walkability Expert Dan Burden Visits Lapeer (Inside 208 blog)
- Lathrup Village Treks towards a Walkable Community (21st Century Community blog)
- Community Design Strategies to Bolster Local Economies (MML Newsroom)
- Leaders Aim to Make Linden More Walker-Friendly (Tri-County Times)
- Walkability Tour Could Yield Changes in Downtown View (Lapeer County Press)
- Changes Could Be Near in Downtown View (Lapeer View)
- Lathrup Village Explores a More Walkable Future (Southfield Sun)
- Michigan Municipal League Hosts Two Events on City Revitalization (Inside 208 blog)
- Photos of Revitalization Meetings in Lansing (Flickr)
- Photos of Dan Burden’s visits to Linden, Lapeer and Lathrup Village (Flickr)
- Facebook Photos of Dan Burden’s Michigan Visits (Facebook.com/mml)
Also, please don’t forget about MML’s upcoming workshop on Complete Streets during their Capital Conference on April 13-14.
“You Complete My Streets” Workshop at Capital Conference
Attend this session to learn about Michigan’s Complete Streets initiative, project planning that incorporates all forms of transportation. As you’ll hear from experts and local officials who have already adopted this approach, it IS possible to build new roads around motorists, bicyclists, transit systems, walkers, etc. without breaking the bank. Register by March 15 for the early bird rate.