West Bloomfield: Complete Streets and Safety Paths

The Charter Township of West Bloomfield adopted an updated master plan on September 28th.

Mike Reuter from American Cycle & Fitness and myself (Todd Scott) met with their planning department earlier this year. Our discussion was about making West Bloomfield bike friendly and how we might reflect that in the master plan.

We were successful in getting Complete Streets language added.

As the Township continues to evolve, the methods of travel will adjust to various desires andlifestyles. Environmental and cost of living issues will continue to emerge that will likely shifttravel choices away from the single-occupant automobile toward more carpooling, transitand non-motorized options. Anticipating this shift, the concept of “Complete Streets” hasemerged, which maintains equal focus on all modes of travel through both road and pathwaydesign. Complete Streets are intended to accommodate and enable safe travel for all systemusers. West Bloomfield should support the integration of complete street design into any future road projects to help promote multi-modal transportation in the Township.

One challenge with townships is they do not own any roads. The Road Commission for Oakland County does and they are this area’s biggest impediment to safe cycling.

Despite referencing Complete Streets, the master plan still ignores national design guidelines (AASHTO) by promoting side paths (called safety paths in Oakland County) as bicycle facilities.  (Note that the latest draft of the forthcoming  AASHTO bicycle design guidelines devotes a couple pages to explaining why side paths are not safe for bicyclists.)

Given the political and operation momentum with side paths, one cannot expect West Bloomfield — or any similar Oakland County townships — to be a bicycle friendly community any time soon. Right now, with few exceptions, if you really want to live in a bicycle friendly community, you’re easiest, most reliable option is to move.

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One Response to “West Bloomfield: Complete Streets and Safety Paths”

  1. Charter Township of West Bloomfield Hints at Complete Streets « Michigan Complete Streets Coalition Says:

    […] Read more at m-bike.org […]

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