There was a discussion of a Complete Streets ordinance at yesterday’s Detroit City Council Public Health and Safety committee. It seems the debate is whether or not city council should pass a Complete Streets resolution or ordinance. The latter is more binding and permanent. A resolution would likely call for the city to have a Complete Streets policy, but there would not be much teeth in making sure the policy is followed.
Four city departments spoke on the topic. The Department of Health and Wellness Promotion (aka the health department) has received grant funding that requires that a Complete Street ordinance be passed. They also spoke about the connection between Complete Streets and public health.
Next, the Department of Public Works (DPW) listed their current non-motorized efforts. One highlight: They’ve spent $38 million during the past 10 years on non-motorized facilities, which includes 20,000 ADA sidewalk ramps, 400 pedestrian countdown timers, and (by the end of this year) 73 miles of bike lanes. They said a resolution would suffice.
Next, the City Planning Commission voiced their support for an ordinance, saying it was “warranted.”
And finally the Law Department was neutral but would look into the health department’s grant language to make sure an ordinance is required rather than just a resolution. They also asked to see the proposed ordinance language which the Detroit Complete Streets work group has been developing.
Councilmember James Tate said he “support Complete Streets wholeheartedly” but would like to know what strings might be attached to the grant funding.
Councilmember Brenda Jones also voiced her support for Complete Streets as well.
During the public comment, two physically-challenged residents spoke in support of Complete Streets, though they were at the meeting to discuss other issues.
One sight-impaired woman spoke of the difficulty in getting on DDOT buses when they cannot pull up to the curb due to on-street parking. Although she didn’t mention it, having a bump out at transit stops around on-street parking would alleviate her concern. This demonstrates that Complete Streets affects more than just DPW.