Lansing Unveils Complete Streets Plan

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Two years ago, Lansing was the first city in Michigan to pass a Complete Streets Ordinance, a law requiring city plans to include non-motorized considerations to help increase biker and walker access and safety.

"Just as recently as two years ago, every 3 days a pedestrian or bicyclist was hit by a car," said Julie Powers, with the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.

That's part of the driving force behind Lansing's Complete Streets movement.... access for all.

Thursday, the city took a big step towards making that idea a reality. Lansing officials unveiled its non-motorized master plan for the city's future.

The plan lists 53 approved or conceptual projects across the city, including 7 in the next 5 years.

In 2012, the city plans on adding bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly features to sections of Waverly Rd and Washington Ave in Reotown.

Future projects include adding bike lanes to Holmes Road between Washington Ave and Cedar St and on Kalamazoo St between Larch St and Grand Ave.

"Some of the projects on the list actually won't affect drivers at all," said Powers. "Some pathways like the one we'd like to put on a right-of-way would never affect a driver in any way, shape or form."

And the ones that are on roads will be part of construction work the city is planning on doing anyway.

"This will not add to construction time," said Chad Gamble, director of Lansing's Public Service Department. "It'll add amenities and features to the corridor that is already being built in any given year."

Meanwhile, Lansing City Council member Jessica Yorko, an avid biker herself, is planning on moving forward with a bike parking ordinance designed to add more racks and spaces for city cyclists to park their bikes.

The ordinance would require any new development or significant redevelopment projects in the city to include bike parking.

Yorko says she hopes to further discuss the bill in committee next Monday with a vote before the full City Council possibly happening the Monday before Thanksgiving.

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