Detroit Complete Streets Ordinance A Step Closer to Reality

DETROIT — As Mode Shift: Move Together reported in late June, the City of Detroit has been working on a new ordinance that would ensure all new road construction projects be constructed for use by more than just automobiles.

The initiative is called Complete Streets and it's gaining momentum in municipalities and cities across the United States as officials deal with rising gas prices and denser housing developments.

Detroit's Complete Streets Ordinance, which has been under review and in revision since late 2011, is starting to make real headway with the mayor's office and community stakeholders.

Complete streets are roadways and streets designed and constructed with thoughtful planning and consideration of all users of the roadway, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. When communities implement complete streets, residents are connected with businesses, restaurants, schools and other popular destinations with sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and/or paths.

The Detroit City Planning Commission's Laura Buhl will make final revisions on the ordinance this week per recommendations from Detroit Public Works' Ron Brundidge. It will then proceed to the DPW and the city's Planning and Development Department before going to the Mayor's Office for final approval.

Some of the major changes will include clarification in the legislation about the Advisory Group's replacement of the Non-Motorized Taskforce, as opposed to the group being an addition to the NMT. It will also specify the Group's role of working in conjunction with the DPW.

The Ordinance has the support of many SE Michigan community organizations including the Corktown Residents' Council, Warren/Conner Development Coalition, Detroit Department of Transportation, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, AARP, and Wayne State University, among another 600 supporters of the ordinance.

The Complete Streets Coalition has reached out to many other organizations including Michigan Organizations to Impact Obesity & Nutrition, the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative, Woodward Avenue Action Association and the Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation.

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