The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition is pleased to report that today the MDOT budget passed out the House Transportation Subcommittee on Appropriations.  The budget passed on a 5 to 3 vote and includes notable boilerplate complete streets language including a provision that the department shall give preference to enhancement grant applicants that have adopted complete streets policies.

The inclusion of complete streets language was recommended by Representative Switalski and was included in Chairman Gonzales’ recommendations to the Committee.  We would like to thank Representative Switalski and Gonzales for their continued leadership on instituting complete streets in Michigan.

In addition, this bill also adds a new subsection to encourage MDOT to work with Amtrak to facilitate passengers traveling with bicycles.

The transportation budget will now go to the full Appropriations Committee for a vote before heading to the House floor later this Spring.

The Complete Streets language included in the Transportation Budget is below.

Sec. 321.  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.

Sec. 322.  The department shall work with representatives of state public universities to assist in the development and implementation of complete streets policies on university road and street systems.

Sec. 323.  The department shall include staff with expertise in non-motorized and multi-modal transportation planning in development of projects on non-limited access trunkline projects within municipal boundaries.

Sec. 324.  It is the intent of the legislature that the department and local road agencies that receive appropriations under this act work to develop and adopt complete street policies. In planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of streets and highways, the department and local road agencies shall adhere to the adopted complete street policy.

It is the intent of the legislature that the department serve as a resource for local agencies in the development and implementation of complete streets policies.  The department shall provide assistance to and coordinate with local road agencies and metropolitan planning organizations in developing complete street policies, including the development of model complete street policies. As used in this section “complete streets policy” means a state or local law, ordinance, or policy that ensures both of the following:

(a) The adequate accommodation, in all phases of project planning, development, construction, maintenance and operation of all users of the transportation system, including but not limited to, pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit users, children, older individuals, motorists, and individual with disabilities.

(b) The consideration of the safety and convenience of all users in all phases of project planning and development.

Sec. 711(5). For rail passenger service supported in any part through capital or operating assistance from funds appropriated in this act, the department shall work with the rail carrier to identify ways in which reasonable transport of bicycles by passengers can be accommodated.