Yesterday, Gov. Granholm held a ceremonial bill signing for bills designed to bolster greater use of sidewalks and bike paths.
Under the “Complete Streets” legislation (HB 6151-6152), road agencies would be required to consider efficient movement of people and goods by motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians in their transportation master plans. It would also encourage greater cooperation and communication between MDOT, counties and municipalities in developing these non-motorized plans.
The State Transportation Commission will be required to adopt a “Complete Streets” policy for MDOT. The policy will provide guidance for planning, design and construction of roadways and paths that considers varying mobility needs of all legal roadway users. MDOT will also establish a Complete Streets Advisory Council to provide education and adopt model policies that road agencies can use in their local communities.
As originally introduced, the legislation required a certain percentage of road dollars to be spent on non-motorized paths. MITA opposed this requirement and successfully lobbied to make greater investment optional, as Michigan communities are desperately struggling to keep their roads from falling into disrepair.
An analysis and copy of the new laws can be found here.