1. Safe Routes to School & Complete Streets:
Partnerships for Low-Income Communities
Partnering to Create a Complete Streets Policy
Vice President of Operations
Michigan Fitness Foundation
2. What are Complete Streets?
Roadways planned, designed and
constructed to accommodate safe
access for all users. Pedestrians,
bicyclists, motorists and transit riders
of all ages and abilities are able to
safely move along and across streets.
“Roads for all modes”
-Deb Hubsmith, Director
Safe Routes to School National Partnership
3. Components of Complete Streets
Complete Streets design may include such
features as sidewalks, bike lanes, transit stops,
intersection treatments, etc.
 A vision for how to connect a network
 Street connectivity for all modes
 Uses latest and best design standards
 Applies to both new and retrofit projects
4. Why Complete Streets?
 1/3 of Americans do not drive
 21% of Americans are over 65
 All children under 16
 Many low income Americans cannot
 20% of Americans have a disability that
limits their daily activities. (Complete Streets
feature curb cuts and other designs for
disabled travelers. Complete Streets reduce
isolation and dependence.)
 73% of respondents stated that they would
like to drive less and 66% stated that they
would like more transportation options.
-Transportation 4 America survey, March 2010
5. Why Complete Streets?
 25% of walking trips take place on
roads without sidewalks or shoulders.
Bike lanes lead to a 30-40%
reduction in bike crashes.
 Bike lanes are available for only
about 5% of bike trips.
“It is dishonest to tell our citizens to
walk, jog, or bicycle when there is no
safe or welcoming place to pursue
these life saving activities.”
-Dr. Richard Jackson,
Active Living Expert
6. Why Complete Streets?
 Walking and bicycling
help prevent obesity,
diabetes, high blood
pressure, and colon cancer.
Residents are 65% more
likely to walk in a
7. Community Benefits
In addition to
Greater Social Equity
Stronger Local Economies Increased Safety Cleaner Environment
8. Where Do You Want to Live?
9. Community Design and Physical Activity
Community design impacts
physical activity levels
Transportation networks that include amenities such as sidewalks and bike
lanes can increase the number of people who walk or bike by 30% and schools
can see a 15% increase in students who walk or bike to school.
(Active Living Research, RWJF 2007)
10. The Focus
Complete Safe Routes
Streets to School
11. The Outcome
Complete Streets = Active Infrastructure!
There is no prescription for a complete street.
Urban Suburban Rural
Complete Streets help create Safe Routes to School
12. What is a Complete Streets Policy?
A complete Streets
policy ensures that
the entire right of
way is routinely
operated to enable
safe access for all
13. Collaboration in Michigan
The Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan Coalition is
comprised of executive-level decision makers from
more than 110 organizations dedicated to reducing
childhood obesity in Michigan through strategic
policy initiatives. Complete Streets was identified
as one of the coalition’s key policy priorities.
The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition was
created to promote statewide Complete Streets
policy and support initiatives in local communities.
The project is led by the League of Michigan
Bicyclists, Michigan Environmental Council, and
AARP, with the support of numerous other
organizations, businesses and individuals.
14. Policy Momentum in Michigan
 The State Legislature adopted a
Complete Streets resolution drafted by
the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan
 House Bill 6151: requires MDOT to
adopt a Complete Streets policy & work
 House Bill 6152: requires Complete
Streets principles in local master plans.
 Both bills have been signed into law
by the Governor.
15. Connections and Collaboration
Getting it Done:
 A challenging political environment
(An election year and tremendous focus
on significant state budget cuts).
 Less than three months from bill
introduction to being signed into law
by the Governor.
Keys to Success:
 Coalition building
 Getting all stakeholders on board
 Seeking out potential opposition
and building consensus on the front
16. Promising Practices and Partnerships
Implement a Complete Streets Campaign to change transportation
policy and design standards.
Whether advocating for state legislation or a city ordinance, the
formula is the same . . . making connections and building
Key Steps at the local level:
 Public input charrettes
 Development of policy language
 Education and training
 Outreach to local road agencies
17. Challenges in Low-Income Communities
 Greater barriers to physical activity
 Fewer residents own automobiles
 Higher rates of walking
 Higher rates of traffic
 Social equity concerns
Complete Streets are even
more important and can
have an even greater
impact in low-income
18. Solutions in Low-Income Communities
 Pedestrian safety risks  Infrastructure improvements
 Disenfranchised residents  Building consensus through
coalitions and collaboration
Crime rates  More people on the streets =
increased safety and security
Access to engineers and  State focus on low-income
professional expertise communities (Michigan example)
Complete Streets are part of the solution.
19. Vibrant Communities
Picture this in your community . . .
The planning and development of Complete Streets leads to:
 An increase in children walking and bicycling to school
 Adults commuting to work by walking and bicycling
 Improved air quality
 Attractive streets, greenways and trails
 A stronger sense of community
 Walking school busses
 Seniors out and about
 A friendlier environment where we all want to live
Complete Streets can help create vibrant communities where
the best and brightest want to live and therefore businesses
want to locate.
2000 FHWA Guidance:
“Bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all
transportation projects unless exceptional circumstances exist.”
AASHTO Green Book:
“All highways, except those where bicyclists are legally prohibited,
should be designed and constructed under the assumption that
they will be used by cyclists.”
21. Thank You!
Mike Maisner, Vice President of Operations
Michigan Fitness Foundation