Lansing approves Complete Streets ordinance

Here’s some breaking news from Rory Neuner from the Michigan Environmental Council and a League of Michigan Bicyclists director:

The Lansing City Council voted unanimously tonight (Monday) to adopt a Complete Streets / Non-Motorized Plan ordinance. We’re thrilled!

What does this mean?

There’s more information on this ordinance and how the Lansing Walking & Bicycling Task Force got to this milestone on their web site. But in summary, this ordinance:

  1. Requires the City of Lansing to adopt a Non- Motorized Network Plan.
  2. The Non-Motorized Network Plan would include, at a minimum, accommodations for accessibility, sidewalks, curb ramps and cuts, trails and pathways, signage, and bike lanes, and shall incorporate the principles of Complete Streets and maximize walkable and bikeable streets within the City.
  3. To the extent financially feasible, future construction or reconstruction of City rights-of- way or any parts thereof shall be in conformity with the Non-Motorized Network Plan.
  4. Encourage adequate funding for the plan.
  5. Require an update of the Non-Motorized Network Plan every five years from the date of adoption.

Passing an ordinance up front is a slightly different route than what was taken in Royal Oak and Troy, but definitely works.

And perhaps the biggest benefit to what Lansing has achieved is the funding. Making plans is easy. It’s a major challenge finding the money to implement them, especially in these economic times.

Under current Michigan law (called Act 51), a minimum of 1% of the state road funds each city, village, and county receive must be spent on non-motorized facilities like bike lanes and sidewalks. Some follow this law and some don’t, but that’s a whole other topic.

The city of Lansing currently spends 2% to 3% for non-motorized facilities. Under this ordinance that  is raised to 5%.

Congratulations, Lansing!

The Lansing Complete Streets Ordinance would:


    2. The Non-Motorized Network Plan would
    include, at a minimum, accommodations for
    accessibility, sidewalks, curb ramps and cuts,
    trails and pathways, signage, and bike lanes,
    and shall incorporate the principles of
    Complete Streets and maximize walkable and
    bikeable streets within the City.

    3. To the extent financially feasible, future
    construction or reconstruction of City rights-of-
    way or any parts thereof shall be in
    conformity with the Non-Motorized Network
    Plan.


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