Complete Streets in Michigan: a good step forward

State Representative Pam Byrnes said it best, “This bill is not what everybody wants, but it’s a good step forward.”

The original Complete Streets bill would have required MDOT and all cities and counties to adopt Complete Streets policies. The new bill requires only MDOT but encourages others to do the same.

The new bill was unanimously voted out of the House Transportation Committee today and will hopefully get a vote on the House floor before heading to the Senate.

For additional details, the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition has an excellent write up on their website.

These bills still need our help! Please contact your state representative now to tell them to support House Bills 6151 and 6152.

The Michigan Complete Streets also has a list of other actions you can take to help the roads in this state a better place to ride a bicycle.

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5 Responses to “Complete Streets in Michigan: a good step forward”

  1. Andrew Mutch Says:

    This is a small step forward. I wasn’t surprised that the RCOC’s of the world opposed more specific language. But I was disappointed that the MML had a hand in watering down the law. Go to their web site and you’ll hear all about the importance of making our communities more walkable and bike-friendly. But when they had a chance to get behind that principle, they failed to step.

  2. Andrew Mutch Says:

    To finish that – they failed to step up.

  3. MrMyxlpyx Says:

    I am an avid cyclist who rides on trails and on roads and who is working to expand trails and cycling in Michigan, so I am supportive of the Complete Streets concept. I also realize, however, that road commissions are charged with providing a county road system that is “reasonably safe and convenient for the motoring public”. Given the irresponsible disinvestment in road infrastructure by the Michigan legislature over the past 15 years I completely understand that road commissions are having a hard time even doing what they are legally required to do – provide safe roads for motorists – and are not receptive Complete Street legislation that further dilutes funds available to accomplish this. And the MML is looking out for the best interest of its cash strapped, revenue sharing-starved members when, while supporting the importance of making our communities more walkable and bike-friendly, it stops short of endorsing legislation that amounts to another unfunded mandate. Complete streets is a great idea, but adequate funding must be identified.

  4. Andrew Mutch Says:

    Sorry but the claim that this is an unfunded mandate is false. All cities, villages and counties get Act 51 dollars from the state. By state law, a percentage of those dollars are supposed to be spent on non-motorized transportation improvements. These are dollars that can and should be spent to meet Complete Streets requirements. I also reject the idea that the Complete Streets legislation would have diluted the existing funding. Complete Streets would have put into law what those agencies should already be doing. Does it cost more money? Sure it does. But so does meeting ADA requirements, mitigating environmental impacts and all the modern requirements we have in place in recognition that the standards of the 1920s are no longer adequate for modern life. At least the RCOC and other Commissions are consistent in their opposition. The MML just looks hypocritical by endorsing legislation that mandates MDOT do something that they themselves advocate but are unwilling to do themselves. If you’re not willing to put your money where your mouth is, why should people listen to you (MML)?

  5. Todd Scott Says:

    Road Commissions are not charged with providing a county road system that is ‚Äúreasonably safe and convenient for the motoring public.” State law [MCL 224.21(2)] clearly states that “A county shall keep in reasonable repair, so that they are reasonably safe and convenient for public travel, all county roads, bridges, and culverts that are within the county’s jurisdiction, are under its care and control, and are open to public travel.” Public travel means more than just motorists and includes bicyclists and pedestrians.

    This should not be a surprise since county road commission legislation was enacted in 1893 through the efforts of bicycling advocates, years before the first car motored on the streets of Detroit.

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