Started 3 petitions
Approve Funding for South Lansing Pathway
Lansing City Council’s recent inaction to accept federal Transportation Enhancement and Transportation Alternative funding for this project is threatening our City’s commitment to implementing Complete Streets and the City’s Non-motorized Transportation Plan. $1.1 million in federal funding is currently available to construct a 3.5 mile non-motorized multi-use path along the Consumers Energy power line corridor. The project will extend the Lansing River Trail, creating an essential east-west non-motorized transportation route linking numerous community assets within South Lansing to the rest of City and to neighboring Delhi Township (see PDF).These funds are specific to supporting non-motorized transportation improvements, and could not be used for any other purpose. By leaving these funds on the table, Lansing would walk away from a long-standing commitment towards planning for a sustainable, vibrant community.Lansing has shown great leadership in accommodating non-motorized users in recent years. In 2009, City Council unanimously adopted a Complete Streets ordinance, becoming the first community in Michigan to recognize that all users have a right to safe and convenient transportation options within the community. The proposed South Lansing Pathway is a key transportation and recreational facility as identified in numerous community plans including Lansing’s current Master Plan, Non-motorized Plan, and their Parks and Recreation Plan. It can even be found in City planning documents dating back to 1974. Despite the fact that this project has received an enormous amount of public input and support from thousands of City residents, Lansing City Council ignored the will of the people when they failed to adopt a resolution of support this past Monday in order to move this project forward. Instead, they pulled the resolution from the agenda, jeopardizing the City’s ability to meet federal and state deadlines to secure $1.1 million in transportation funding and capitalize on a unique opportunity to save the City close to $260,000 in local match dollars.For more information on the background of this project, click here.
Schedule a Hearing for Vulnerable Roadway User Legislation
Modeled after accepted European standards and containing penalties similar to those used in numerous states and communities across the country, this legislation creates enhanced penalties for drivers who injure or kill a vulnerable roadway user, defined as a bicyclist, pedestrian or wheelchair user. In Michigan, similar enhanced penalties already exist for reckless drivers who injure or kill construction workers, children in designated school zones, or operators of slow-moving farm vehicles. Currently, crashes involving bicyclists legally using public roads often result in minor consequences for careless drivers that injure non-motorized users. Unless a victim can prove that the driver was grossly negligent, he or she usually has limited legal recourse. In fact, blame often gets shifted to victims with statements like "this wouldn't have happened if they weren't in the road." Killing a cyclist rarely even merits court appearances. In practice, Michigan law places little burden on drivers to be alert for other roadway users. Non-motorists have every right to expect that drivers will safely maneuver around them. Drivers who injure or kill bicyclists and pedestrians deserve to have their driving skills called into question and face stiffer penalties under state law. A vulnerable roadway user provision would provide law enforcement and prosecutors with an enhanced set of penalties that fill the gap between basic traffic infractions and more serious crimes.
Adopt a Stronger Complete Streets Policy
Michigan Can Do Better Adopt a Stronger Complete Streets Policy Michigan’s draft Complete Streets policy is out, and the Michigan State Transportation Commission (MSTC) is looking for your feedback. Through July 13 2012, we urge you to join other citizens around the state by signing this petition asking MSTC to adopt a stronger policy.MSTC, a six-member board that establishes the policy and plans for Michigan’s Department of Transportation (MDOT), recently released the draft policy for implementing Complete Streets on state roads. The Complete Streets policy will direct MDOT planners to design and maintain roadways that fit within the context of the community and keep all users in mind, including bicyclists, public transit riders, motorists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.While the state’s effort is a big step in the right direction, bicycle, disability, transit, and pedestrian advocates around the state think the policy could be clearer, more specific, and include firm timelines for implementing Complete Streets procedures. Advocates analyzed the policy, comparing it to national best practices, and identified a number of key areas where Michigan’s policy could be improved.The draft policy is the result of Complete Streets legislation passed in 2010 with overwhelming support from Michigan Legislature and the public. The legislation requires that the state adopt a policy by August 2012. MSTC is only allowing two weeks for the public to review and comment on the policy before their July 13th deadline. That’s why we need you to ACT TODAY and sign this petition urging MSTC to make improvements to the policy before adopting it.