The number of Michigan communities with Complete Streets policies or ordinances is nearing 40 with the additions of Lake Isabella, Ludington, Marquette, Northville, Owosso and Acme Township in Grand Traverse County.
According to Holly Madill, Complete Streets Project Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, this now means approximately 2,659,080 people, or 27% of Michigan’s population now lives in a community that has endorsed complete streets either through a resolution or ordinance.
The League was a strong supporter of the statewide Complete Streets law that passed last year as a strategy to give local officials more control over the design of streets and roads within their community and allow them to build roadways for people, as well as cars.
For more information on the Complete Streets law check out the League's webpage.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 of by e-mail.
Since the Michigan Legislature, with the League's support, adopted Complete Streets legislation in 2010, there has been a flurry of activity in communities across the state to take advantage of this approach to transportation and economic development. Nearly 40 local governments have adopted policies and that number keeps growing. Now Michigan's Complete Streets efforts have started receiving national recognition. The League of Michigan Bicyclists was recognized as "Winning Campaign of the Year" by the Alliance for Biking and Walking for its Complete Streets leadership. Last week, the National Complete Streets Coalition released a report analyzing and ranking Complete Streets policies in state and local governments across the country. Michigan's state policy ranks in the top five nationally. Three Michigan cities, Dexter, Ferndale and Taylor, rank in the top 10 for their ordinances. Congratulations to those communities and to all of our partners in the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition.
For more information about Complete Streets and sample ordinance language, visit the League's Complete Streets resource page.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-669-6323.
This afternoon at the League's Capital Convention, representatives of the cities of Ferndale, Midland and Mount Pleasant shared experiences from the front lines of efforts to complete their communities' streets. The three cities are in different stages of implementation, showing the diversity of approaches available to Michigan communities under Michigan's Complete Streets legislation.
Ferndale Councilwoman Melanie Piana shared her perspective as an elected official who spearheaded the successful efforts to adopt a Complete Streets ordinance. She stressed the importance of building a support team, educating stakeholder groups and strengthening partnerships. She encouraged local government staff and officials to bike their communities to see first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of the network. Complete Streets policy discussions can be a catalyst to coalesce disparate resolutions, policies and processes already in existence within the local government. Ferndale adopted an ordinance but has not yet created a non-motorized transportation plan.
Keith Baker, Midland's Planning Director, shared a different story about the challenges creating political will for a Complete Streets ordinance. He advocated working incrementally if necessary, starting with a local task force and then building a non-motorized plan. Midland recently adopted a non-binding resolution that is advisory in nature but requires review of all new construction projects.
Jeff Gray and Rich Morrison from Mount Pleasant's Planning and Economic Development departments showcased examples of innovative projects completed in their city to reduce traffic speeds and increase pedestrian safety without a formal Complete Streets policy in place. They also provided recommendations for dealing with the challenges of redeveloping a state trunkline running through a downtown.
The League's Complete Streets page provides example resolutions, policies and other background information.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator with the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or email@example.com.
The Michigan Department of Transportation's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program will be visiting select communities this summer and fall to perform walkability audits and/or bike facility development trainings. These trainings will help community leaders, residents and staff understand specific ways to improve local streets, sidewalks and trails to make them more accessible for bikers and walkers. Encouraging non-motorized transportation is a key tenet of the Complete Streets movement and an economic asset identified by the League's Center for 21st Century Communities. If you want your community to host one of these trainings, fill out a brief application by March 26. Extensions may be available if this deadline is impractical. To request an extension or ask questions about the program, contact Cynthia Krupp.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.