DETROIT — They asked for support and encouragement for a complete streets ordinance in Detroit.
And they got it.
Now, in as few as two weeks they’ll see whether Mayor Dave Bing’s top administrators make good on the positive statements about complete streets they made at the June 27 citywide community meeting where residents had a chance to ask the mayor and his staff questions and voice concerns about the city’s operation.
“I’m happy,” says Myra Tetteh, a member of the Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative, and advocate of policies designed to encourage healthier communities. “The city needs complete streets to make the positive steps moving forward.”
Tetteh was one of four speakers at the 90-minute event who addressed the proposed complete streets ordinance. The measure would require city transportation planners to take into account all users of roadways — not just cars and trucks — when designing, repairing and maintaining them. The speakers represented AARP, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and the Detroit Complete Streets Coalition.
Complete streets planning includes bike lanes, safer pedestrians crosswalks, handicapped-accessible crossings and mass transit facilities. It’s a philosophy that helps communities better plan healthy, sustainable and connected communities by encouraging non-motorized transportation with safer roadway infrastructure.
Tetteh, a longtime advocate of complete streets, asked about a time frame for the proposed ordinance’s emergence from the city's law department, where it’s been under review since October 2011.
“We will be making a recommendation to the mayor very soon,” said Marja Winters, deputy director of planning and development. “I would say within two weeks.”
And from there it will go to the mayor’s office.
“I’ll personally take a look at it,” promised Chris Brown, Bing’s chief operating officer.
Asked directly about his support for complete streets, Bing was clear. “The answer to that is yes,” he said.