Imagine streets in the future that serve all users: vehicle lanes for cars; shared lanes for trams or other public transit; sidewalks and road crossings for pedestrians; bike lanes for bicyclists; ramps, curb cuts and amenities for users of all abilities. This growing trend called “Complete Streets” is a new way of thinking about street design. It has moved streets from strictly serving motorists to incorporating travel ways for users of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets encompass the usual sidewalks but incorporate other features as well, such as public transportation facilities, bike lanes, wide paved shoulders, crosswalks, pedestrian refuges, pedestrian signals, landscaped medians, on-street parking, and more.
The Complete Streets movement is getting more and more attention across the country and the state. In 2010, Michigan passed several bills in support of Complete Streets. Public Act 51, which governs transportation funding in the state, now requires MDOT to adopt Complete Streets policies, and create model policies for municipalities. This legislation also establishes a Complete Streets Advisory Council within MDOT. The Michigan Planning Enabling Act (P.A. 33) was also amended, and now requires master plans to consider other modes of transportation. (Click here for P.A. 134 and 135).
Communities implementing Complete Streets initiatives can be seen across the state. In fact, Michigan has adopted more Complete Streets policies, ordinances, and resolutions than any other state in the nation, according to the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition website (http://michigancompletestreets.wordpress.com/). Instituting a complete streets policy or adopting a complete streets ordinance can ensure that roadways in your community will be designed with all users in mind.
Ask us about preparing a complete streets policy or ordinance for your community!