You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2011.

In response to the successful passage of Michigan’s Complete Streets legislation, and increasing demand from interested communities and organizations, the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan (HKHM) Coalition, Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA) partnered to develop the Complete Streets Institute.

The Complete Streets Institute is a comprehensive and standardized 5‐module training program designed to increase awareness of complete streets principles, support local advocacy efforts, and provide practical, realistic instructions and techniques to help communities create, adopt, and implement Complete Streets policies and projects. The 5‐module Complete Streets Institute training curriculum was designed to cover all aspects Complete Streets, from introduction of the concept (Module 1) to design applications in your community (Module 5). You pick the modules YOUR community needs to move ahead with success. See the PDF below for more details.

By Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist - Disability Network/Lakeshore, Lakeshore Friends of Transit

Complete Streets advocates hit another milestone last night!

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!

UPDATE (5/5/11): Yesterday the full House passed the transportation budget with most other department budgets as one omnibus bill.  The transportation budget contained the same cuts approved by the House Appropriations Committee - $10 million reduction to Bus Operating and $10 million reduction to Bus Capital.  The bill also removed important language that gives grant funding preference to communities with complete streets policies.

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our action alert to oppose these cuts. The next stop for this bill is conference committee, made up of legislators from both the House and Senate.  We do not yet know when the committee will meet or who the conferees will be.  As soon as we know we will post this information to our website. 

Contact your Representative Today!

As we reported last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation voted against the Governor’s funding recommendation for fiscal year 2012 by reducing public transportation funding  by up to 10 percent. Additionally, important complete streets language was stripped from the House version of this transportation funding bill. This important incentive has helped to encourage at least 24 communities in Michigan to adopt complete streets policies this past year, for a total of 40 across the state - the most in the nation.

We are asking complete streets and transit supporters to take action today and contact your Representative to ask them to restore funding for public transportation and to continue to prioritize transportation funding to communities with complete streets policies.  After clicking the take action link above, a predrafted message to your representative will pull up once you put in your zip code.  We encourage you to personalize the message and to explain why public transportation and complete streets are important to you.

Thank you in advance for taking action!


The full Senate Appropriations Committee reported out yesterday morning their version of the transportation budget which cuts $15 million from the passenger transportation fund (CTF). Senator Anderson offered an amendment, which was supported by Senator Pappageorge and approved, that shifts the full $15 million cut to the Bus Capital line item (the original version had the $15 million cut split between Bus Operating [$5 million] and Bus Capital [$10 million]. This is the less bad option. It means that there will not be money to purchase new buses for FY 12, but restores the money for bus operating.

The Complete Streets boilerplate language was retained in the Senate version. Passenger rail was fully funded.

At this point, we don’t know when the full House Appropriations Committee will meet to take up their version of the bill, so please make sure to contact your Representative asap.

Let Your Voice Be Heard - Take Action Now!

Last week, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a letter and supplemental document, which asked the US Department of Transportation to weaken their guidance on accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians. The supplemental document, submitted as part of a formal review of regulations, asks that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) withdraw their guidance on the meaning of “due consideration” of bicyclists and pedestrians to make it easier for states to ignore the needs of non-motorized travelers. AASHTO prefers the weaker “consider where appropriate” to allow states to avoid having to justify failure to accommodate bicycling and walking.

This request is misguided. At a time when cities are building entire bicycling networks for the cost of one mile of urban four-lane freeway, bike projects are putting people to work, and benefiting business, this is not the time to move backwards. With 23 states embracing Complete Streets (and 39 Micigan policies), AASHTO should be a leading voice in shaping holistic and comprehensive transportation systems, not resisting them. In fact, AASHTO’s own 12 year-old Bicycle Guide, due to be up dated this year, says that bicyclists and pedestrians can be expected on any roadway they are legally allowed to operate and therefore should be accommodated.

Please take a minute to thank the Michigan Department of Transportation for their continued leadership in helping to make Michigan roads safe for all users, including bicyclists, and encourage MDOT Director Kirk Steudle to contact AASHTO President Susan Martinovich, to let her know that Michigan bicyclists disagree with the recommendation.  You are encouraged to personalize the pre drafted message.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

From the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance

The new Michigan Complete Streets law (Public Acts 134 and 135 of 2010) is changing the face of how transportation is planned and carried out across the state. Local communities are responding to the challenge to implement local complete streets policies that provide the necessary coordination and careful consideration for all transportation users in each project. To get an overview of the Complete Streets law and how to make Complete Streets happen in your community please participate in the Cadillac Training on April 19 or the  Grayling training on April 2oth.


The The City of Ypsilanti will hold a public hearing on a proposed Complete Streets ordinance on Wednesday, April 20th, 6pm at City Hall, 1 South Huron Street.  A Complete Streets ordinance basically encourages that when a street is constructed, or rebuilt, that all users, including pedestrians, the handicapped and bicyclists be considered in the final design. The City Planning Department is receiving assistance in drafting the ordinance from the  Washtenaw County Public Health Department, which in turn has received funds from the Michigan Department of Community Health to promote Complete Streets. The Complete Streets workshop will last one hour (again starting at 6pm on April 20th) and will be followed by a meeting of the Ciyt Planning Commission which will review the ordinance.

Representative Dave Agema's bill raided the public transportation fund - specifically the fund used to keep buses running - by $20 million. His bill also struck language that gave municipalities which adopt complete streets policies preference when applying for state non-motorized transportation grants.

The House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation this morning refused to provide Michiganders with more solutions to combat high gas prices by going against the governor’s funding recommendation for fiscal year 2012 and reducing public transportation funding by 8 to 10 percent.

The reductions – if not reversed in the full appropriations committees – ensure diminished options for more flexible, affordable transportation solutions in Michigan.

“It is unconscionable that the legislature would undercut these important options,” said Tim Fischer of the Michigan Environmental Council. “Michiganders are turning in increasing numbers to more reasonably priced transportation solutions,” Fischer continued. “This is a penny-wise, pound-foolish move by politicians who could have helped to provide relief to family budgets.”

To make matters worse, important complete streets language, including incentives for communities who adopt local policies, was stripped from the House version of the bill.

Some specifics:

The House

Representative Agema’s bill raided the public transportation fund - specifically the fund used to keep buses running - by $20 million.  Representatives Dillion and LeBlanc were the lone votes against the proposal.  They should be commended for their attempts to prevent the cuts.

Michigan’s highly successful Complete Streets policies also took a beating this morning.  Representative Agema’s bill struck language that gave municipalities which adopt complete streets policies preference when applying for state non-motorized transportation grants.  Sec. 321 stated:

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, 2012, on the specific actions taken to comply with the intent of this section.

This language which was adopted in last year’s transportation budget offers an important incentive for local communities to adopt complete streets policies. Since its adoption last year,  at least 24 complete streets policies across Michigan have been passed.  In total 39 communities have adopted a complete streets ordinance or resolution - the most in the nation.

Also struck was Sec. 322 which stated:

Upon request of a university, 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.

Voting in favor (anti-transit/complete streets vote):

  • Dave Agema, Dist 72, Grandville, 517-373-8900
  • Ken Goike, Dist 33, Macomb Co., 517-373-0820
  • Nancy Jenkins, Dist 57, Adrian, 517-373-1706
  • Phil Potvin, Dist 102, Cadillac, 517-373-1747

Voting against (pro-transit/complete streets vote):

  • Brandon Dillon, Dist 75, Grand Rapids, 517-373-2668
  • Richard LeBlanc, Dist 18, Westland, 517-373-2576

The Senate

Senator Pappageorge’s bill slashed $15 million out of the public transportation fund.  Senator Pappageorge noted that the cuts were beyond what was needed and what the Governor recommended, but wanted some “insurance” at the expense of public transportation users.  Senator Anderson was the lone no vote.

The Senate version of the bill did not touch the above mentioned complete streets language.

Voting in favor (anti-transit vote):

  • John Pappageorge, Dist 13, Troy, 517-373-2523
  • Patrick Colbeck, Dist 7, Northville, 517-373-7350

Voting against (pro-transit vote):

  • Glen Anderson, Dist 6, Livonia, 517-373-7350

The next stop in this budget process is for the full Appropriations Committees to consider the subcommittees’ recommendations.  The cuts can be restored with amendments - that must be supported by the full committees.  We encourage complete streets and transit supporters to take action today and contact your Representative to ask them to restore funding for public transportation and to prioritize transportation funding to communities with complete streets policies.

LATHRUP VILLAGE — With a vision of a bustling downtown district in mind, Lathrup Village city officials are working toward the creation of a “complete streets” program with a local transportation planning firm.

The program is designed to provide safe and efficient roadways for all uses — cars, trucks, transit, foot or bicycle.

The Lathrup Village City Council will need to approve a complete streets ordinance, amend the master plan and create a nonmotorized capital improvements program.

“Complete streets has cars, bikes, pedestrians and all of those uses (to) be considered when coming up with design and functionality of our roads,” said Allen Weaks, Lathrup Village city councilman.

The city has been looking at its roadways for quite some time — most notably, Southfield Road and the boulevard addition proposed by the Road Commission for Oakland County.

Read the rest of this story By Jennie Miller at C & G News

On Saturday, April 16th, Programs to Educate all Cyclists (PEAC) will be breaking new ground once again by holding the first mobility audit for a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. PEAC invites students, parents, community leaders and the general public to participate in conducting an audit of the sidewalks and streets around Saline. PEAC will be assessing the area for use with both handbikes and wheelchairs. Approximately 16 handbikes will be available for use by volunteers courtesy of the Disability Hall of Fame. Instruction will be provided by Glen Ashlock, a member of the Disability Hall of Fame. This is a free event and a great opportunity to help make Saline a safer community for all pedestrians and cyclists.

The event begins at 9:30 am at Liberty School Cafeteria, 7265 N. Ann Arbor St., Saline, MI 48176

April 16th, 2011 9:30 a.m. - noon

Programs to Educate all Cyclists (PEAC) is a national leader in the field of teachin

g individuals with disabilities cycling skills. PEAC’s mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities by using cycling for transportation, integrated recreation, fitness, and therapy.

Marquette Township, Ispeming and Oakland Township adopt complete streets resolutions.
Holland, East Lansing and Lansing Township close.
First meeting scheduled for Complete Streets Advisory Council.

Complete streets continues to gain momentum around the state.  Last week, two Upper Peninsula communities, Marquette Township and the City of Ishpeming both passed Complete Streets resolutions. “Marquette Charter Township has been a leader in providing for the health, safety, welfare, and ease of mobility for those preferring non-motorized modes of transit.  In 2003 our Planning Commission required that all new or substantially reconstructed roads must provide an adjacent non-motorized alternative. So, moving forward with the Complete Streets process was a natural for us,” said Randy Girard, Township Manager for the Charter Township of Marquette.

We have learned that the City of Marquette is also working on a policy and should be bringing it before City Council within a month or two.  When passed this would make three policies withing Marquette County.  Our hats off to our partners at the Marquette County Health Department for all their great leadership in moving these policies forward.

According to the Oakland Township Patch, the Oakland County Board of Trustees voted last night to pass a resolution “supporting Michigan Complete Streets program.” We have not seen the actual language of the resolution yet, but are honored to have the official endorsement of the Board of Trustees for our work to advance complete streets across the state.  We look forward to working with the Township in helping to advance their efforts to safely accommodate all roadway users.

Oakland Township becomes the second Oakland County township, after Milford Township, to adopt a Complete Streets resolution.  As with Milford Township, Oakland Township does not have jurisdiction over roads. It is the Road Commission for Oakland County who owns, builds, and maintains them within the county. The Complete Streets state law passed last August, however, does state that a “county road agency shall consult with the municipality and agree on how to address the respective complete streets policies.” Other townships that have adopted complete streets include Marquette Township, Union Township and Atlas Township. We will be keeping a close eye on these communities to see how the road commissions and townships work together to implement complete streets.

Oakland Township wasn’t the only municipality busy last night advancing complete streets.  We learned via our Facebook Page, that the City of Holland Planning Commission passed a complete streets draft resolution which will be sent to the City Council for approval within the next few months. “The Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) feels that a complete streets policy will assist in the City of Holland becoming the friendliest city in America,” said John D. Langdon, Governmental / Public Affairs Coordinator for MARP.

Additionally, a steering committee composed of community leaders and local residents in Lansing Township are guiding a process of developing a complete streets ordinance and non-motorized transportation plan.  They are hosting townhall meetings tonight and tomorrow evenings (April 13 & 14) to discuss the proposed ordinance.  They have also launched a public survey for community members to provide input.

Just down the road, the City of East Lansing is planning to bring their draft ordinance up for a vote within the next couple of months. Hearing news of the progress in Lansing Township and East Lansing to adopt complete streets, Meridian Township Trustee Veenstra expressed interest in following suit. Also in Mid-Michigan, the City of Mason is showing signs of support by featuring complete streets on the front cover of their latest newsletter.

In statewide news, we are pleased to report that the first meeting of the Complete Streets Advisory Council has been scheduled for April 27, 2011, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the VanWagoner Transportation Building, 425 W. Ottawa Street, Lansing. The meeting will be held in the Lakeshore Learning Center Conference Room, located near the first floor lobby.

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