Grand Haven Adopts Complete Streets
By Barbara Schmid
Great News! Our West Michigan neighbor, Grand Haven, adopted a Complete Streets Resolution this week. Here's the report as published on the Complete Streets website via the Lakeshore Disability Network:
Grand Haven, MI – The City of Grand Haven renewed their commitment to creating a safe and an inclusive community at their regular scheduled City Council meeting on July 18, 2011.
Grand Haven City Council members unanimously approved a Complete Streets Resolution to continue current practices of making the City more accommodating to walkers and bicyclists. The resolution comes after a presentation was made by Disability Network/Lakeshore to the City Council at their July 5th meeting indicating the benefits of such a resolution.
Complete Streets are achieved when local organizations and agencies routinely plan, design, construct, re-construct, operate, and maintain the transportation network to improve travel conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians, and people with disabilities in a manner consistent with, and supportive of, the surrounding community.
City Manager of Grand Haven, Pat McGinnis, drafted a resolution of support for the council to vote on Monday night. McGinnis urged the City Council to adopt the resolution of support stating, “Mobility is important in our community and by passing this resolution we are making a commitment to both ourselves and our citizens that safety and accessibility are key considerations in the planning process.”
Kathryn Gray, Public Policy Specialist for Disability Network/Lakeshore, also indicated a benefit of such a resolution is that, “by passing a Complete Streets resolution, there is the potential for priority when applying for transportation enhancement grants through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Communities passing resolutions or ordinances in support of Complete Streets may receive priority when MDOT is making grant considerations.”
Two council members showed concern for passing a resolution stating the City already practices Complete Streets concepts so what is the point for a resolution.
However, on the July 5th meeting Gray stated, “The City of Grand Haven is already making several strides in designing a walkable and livable community as seen in their 2010 City Master Plan but there are always new ways of looking at the planning process and perfecting the process to ensure safe and accessible transportation routes – for both motorized and non-motorized users.”
Manager McGinnis thanked Disability Network/Lakeshore for their technical expertise in presenting to the City Council and in assisting in drafting a resolution of support for the City. Gray is a certified trainer of Complete Streets from the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Complete Streets Institute.
Over 40 Michigan communities have adopted a Complete Street ordinance or resolution. The City of Grand Haven joins the City of Holland, City of Allegan and the City of Grand Rapids in the West Michigan area in passing such resolutions.