Session 13 - SRTS/CS Low-Income Maisner


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Session 13 - SRTS/CS Low-Income Maisner

  1. 1. Safe Routes to School & Complete Streets: Partnerships for Low-Income Communities Partnering to Create a Complete Streets Policy Mike Maisner Vice President of Operations Michigan Fitness Foundation
  2. 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. 3. Components of Complete Streets Complete Streets design may include such features as sidewalks, bike lanes, transit stops, intersection treatments, etc. It involves:  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. 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 afford automobiles  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. 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. 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 neighborhood with sidewalks.
  7. 7. Community Benefits In addition to improved public health… Enhanced Community Connections Greater Social Equity Stronger Local Economies Increased Safety Cleaner Environment & Security
  8. 8. Where Do You Want to Live? OR OR
  9. 9. Community Design and Physical Activity Community design impacts physical activity levels OR 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. 10. The Focus Complete Safe Routes Streets to School  Context Sensitive Solutions Walkable, Bikeable Communities
  11. 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. 12. What is a Complete Streets Policy? A complete Streets policy ensures that the entire right of way is routinely designed and operated to enable safe access for all users.
  13. 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. 14. Policy Momentum in Michigan State Resolution  The State Legislature adopted a Complete Streets resolution drafted by the Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan Coalition. State Legislation  House Bill 6151: requires MDOT to adopt a Complete Streets policy & work with locals.  House Bill 6152: requires Complete Streets principles in local master plans.  Both bills have been signed into law by the Governor.
  15. 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 end.
  16. 16. Promising Practices and Partnerships Goal: Implement a Complete Streets Campaign to change transportation policy and design standards. Process: Whether advocating for state legislation or a city ordinance, the formula is the same . . . making connections and building consensus. Key Steps at the local level:  Public input charrettes  Development of policy language  Education and training  Outreach to local road agencies
  17. 17. Challenges in Low-Income Communities  Greater barriers to physical activity  Fewer residents own automobiles  Higher rates of walking  Higher rates of traffic related accidents  Social equity concerns OR Complete Streets are even more important and can have an even greater impact in low-income communities.
  18. 18. Solutions in Low-Income Communities Challenge: Solution:  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. 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.
  20. 20. Resources     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. 21. Thank You! Mike Maisner, Vice President of Operations Michigan Fitness Foundation (517) 908-3820