More coverage of Complete Streets in Oakland County

As mentioned earlier, Oakland County Commissioners passed a Complete Streets resolution. However, the original resolution was modified before it was unanimously approved.

Here is the final version as best as we can determine with the changes highlighted:

WHEREAS Complete Street are defined as a design framework that enables safe and convenient access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and drivers of all ages and abilities; and

WHEREAS Complete Streets are achieved when transportation agencies routinely plan, design, construct, reconstruct, operate, and maintain the transportation network to improve travel conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians, transit, motorists and freight in a manner consistent with, and supportive of, the surrounding community; and

WHEREAS development of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit infrastructure offers long-term cost savings and opportunities to create safe and convenient non-motorized travel; and

WHEREAS streets that support and invite multiple uses for pedestrians, bicycles, and transit are more conducive to the public life and efficient movement of people than streets designed primarily to move automobiles; and

WHEREAS increasing active transportation (e.g. walking, bicycling and using public transportation) offers the potential for improved public health, economic development, a cleaner environment, reduced transportation costs, enhanced community connections, social equity, and a more livable communities; and

WHEREAS Complete Streets principles have been and continue to be adopted nationwide at state, county, MPO, and city levels in the interest of proactive planning and adherence to federal regulations that guide transportation planning organizations to promote multi-modal transportation options and accessibility for all users; and

WHEREAS the Michigan Legislature enacted legislation that required the State Transportation Commission to:

A. Adopt a complete streets policy for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)

B. Develop a model complete streets policy or policies to be made available for use by local road agencies; and

WHEREAS this legislation established the Complete Streets Advisory Council to assist with the development of the model policy or policies and to advise the Transportation Commission and local road agencies on such policies; and

WHEREAS it is imperative that any policies and practices adopted by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) be consistent with the model complete streets policies for local agencies being developed by the State Transportation Commission; and

WHEREAS RCOC has established its own Complete Streets Review Committee to examine the complete streets concept; and

WHEREAS this committee includes a cross section of RCOC staff and other interested parties including the City of Novi director of Public Services, the Oakland Township parks and trails planner, a representative of the Michigan Trailways and Greenways Alliance, the MDOT Metro Region planner and SEMCOG‘s non-motorized transportation planner; and

WHEREAS RCOC’s committee will finalize its complete streets recommendations after it has reviewed the model policies developed by the State Transportation Commission.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners hereby declares its support for Complete Streets concept. and requests the Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC) adopt a Complete Streets into its strategic planning process.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners hereby requests the Road Commission of Oakland County to develop a Non-motorized Transportation Plan that will include, at a minimum, accommodations for accessibility, sidewalks, curb ramps and cuts, trails and pathways, signage, bike lanes, and shall incorporate principles of Complete Streets and maximize walkable and bikeable streets within Oakland County.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners hereby requests the Road Commission for Oakland County plan for, design, and construct all transportation improvement projects, both new and retrofit activities, to provide appropriate accommodations for bicyclists, pedestrian, transit users, and persons of all ages and abilities in accordance with an Oakland County Non-motorized Transportation Plan.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners requests that two additional members are appointed to the Complete Streets Review Committee, and meet the following requirements:

1) Two (2) members of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners appointed by the Chairperson of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners requests that the RCOC’s report to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners within six months of adoption of this resolution progress of the committee.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland County Board of Commissioners requests the that, once the State Transportation Commission has developed its complete streets model policy for local road agencies, and the policy has been reviewed by the RCOC Complete Streets Review Committee, RCOC will report to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners on how the Road Commission will progress in implementing an Oakland County Non-motorized plan and adoption of Complete Streets principles in overall strategic planning within six months after adoption of this resolution a complete streets policy that is consistent with the State Transportation Commission’s model policy and Complete Streets principles.

Here is some additional media coverage:

Woodward Avenue Complete Streets Grant

C and G News also ran a story on the Complete Streets grant for Woodward.

“(Complete Streets) is sort of a concept that communities across the country are adopting that says our streets should be more than for just cars,” said Heather Carmona, executive director of the WA3, which is based in Royal Oak.

This means that bicycling groups, non-motorized transit advocates, Woodward Light Rail supporters and all other stakeholders in the roadways will come together to make sure that every mode of transportation can share Woodward fairly and that all future road designs incorporate the Complete Streets concept.

To create a cohesive strategy, there would be standards, policies and land use changes that are shared by all jurisdictions. “The ultimate outcome will be some kind of overlying Complete Streets master plan for Woodward that will look at a lot of different components,” Carmona said.

John Scott elected SEMCOG Chair

In related news, Oakland County Commissioner John Scott (R-Waterford) was elected Chair of SEMCOG.

Scott initially opposed the County Complete Streets resolution by saying, “Does this mean bike paths or wheelchair lanes down Woodward (Avenue)? I’m not sure what I’m voting on here.”

Seriously? He thought Complete Streets meant wheelchair lanes on Woodward? Has he been traveling the U.S. and seeing wheelchair lanes in other Complete Street’s communities?

Now he’s chair of SEMCOG — our metropolitan planning authority that oversees much of this area’s transportation spending.

And in showing his true support for regional harmony, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson added, “He will defend Oakland County’s interests vigorously.”

It’s clear that a Complete Streets resolution is a start, but we need some more significant changes in our county government.

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One Response to “More coverage of Complete Streets in Oakland County”

  1. Andy Says:

    Hmmm, well that’s a rather bittersweet victory in light.

    The SEMCOG news is not terribly surprising. They have consistently been advocates for and enablers of sprawl and of the auto-centric status quo. SEMCOG is an obstacle, not an ally.

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