On message with Complete Streets

Mt. Pleasant is a little outside of m-bike’s geographic range, but this recent editorial in the Morning Sun really speaks to an issue we face in Metro Detroit.

MDOT, instead of looking back at its storied past and pulling solutions out of the 1950s, needs to look to the future. The future is something called a complete street – with places for pedestrians and bicycles as well as motor vehicles.

Instead of cranking up the speed, a complete street calms the traffic. Instead of forcing people to zap across multiple lanes of traffic to make turning movements, it allows them to flow naturally.

It’s an unconventional solution, but it works. It’s not surprising that MDOT has been reluctant to propose an unconventional answer, because unconventional ideas don’t seem to go over real well in Michigan.

In Metro Detroit the issue has been less with MDOT and more with cities and road commissions, such as the Road Commission for Oakland County. They give vehicle mobility a higher priority than safe bicycling and walking.

But the Michigan Complete Streets movement is starting to take hold. Cities like Lansing and Flint are leading the way.

We certainly could use more Complete Streets editorials like the Morning Sun’s.

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