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Posted on Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 6:05 p.m.

State Rep. Pam Byrnes hails Complete Streets legislation signed into law by Gov. Granholm

By Ryan J. Stanton

A comprehensive plan that state Rep. Pam Byrnes says will make streets, sidewalks and transit stops safer and more accessible was signed into law today by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.


Pam Byrnes

The Complete Streets legislation, sponsored by Byrnes, D-Lyndon Township, and Jon Switalski, D-Warren, ensures that future transportation plans statewide take into consideration the needs of all users of the roads, including pedestrians, bicyclists, seniors, people with disabilities and children.

"We all benefit by having safe roads, sidewalks and bike paths everyone can use and enjoy," Byrnes, chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee, said in a statement. "I'm pleased we were able to get this Complete Streets legislation signed into law — it'll promote healthier lifestyles and encourage people to visit our local businesses and communities using cleaner forms of transportation."

Under the lawmakers' plan, the Michigan Department of Transportation now will be required to consider all users of the roads in all phases of road project planning, developing and constructing. The plan will also encourage local units of government to consider Complete Streets principles when updating their master plans.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.


Ann English

Fri, Sep 3, 2010 : 5:50 p.m.

If Governor Tim Pawlenty had a hand in those Minneapolis freeway bus pullover stops, I'm sure no borrowing of funds went into it, no tax increases. I wonder if their Senator Paul Ryan is having a conservative effect on their state senators. Private sector service is more accountable to its clients. Free enterprise most likely had a hand in Minneapolis's efficient bus stop locations, not government employees.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 11:43 p.m.

I am sorry I do not have the source, but I read elsewhere that this plan has no funding attached to it. If this is true, its another fantastic law passed by Lansing, eh? Per the article in planning they will have to "take into consideration," other modes. Then after considering for a few minutes you can say, "Nah."


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 10:43 p.m.

Well in MY Opinion. When they say "take into consideration" the next step is mandatory requirements! And I have a problem making some things mandatory. I suspect that now even on limited access highways there will have to be a study done on whether there should be sidewalks and bike paths. And there is never a study done without somebody lining their pockets! I have no problem making mandatory any shortcomings in the requirements when it comes to wheelchair access.I don't know how you turned my comments into an anti wheelchair post!

Silly Sally

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 10:21 p.m.

Parts of this law can make sense. The silly Washtenaw County Road Commission recently repaved State Street, from Ellsworth (by the AA Airport) south to the Walmart on Michigan Ave. Portions have a paved 48 inch wide shoulder, but in places it narrows down to less than 6 inches. When repaving a road, how much more could it cost to keep a uniform 36 to 60 inch wide shoulder? We do not need the re-configuring of Division Street or Platt to remove lanes and add bike lanes, just simple things such as a wider shoulder for bicycle use. Safer for both cars and bicyclists.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 9:33 p.m.

@jcj The legislation doesn't say they have to tear up Packard east of Carpenter and add a usable bike lane. What it says is that from now on when they are planning a new road or re-paving a road they have to think about something besides cars. In Minneapolis they have buses on major thoroughfares, even freeways. They have a pull over lane (on the freeway, near the overpass) where the bus pulls over, doesn't block traffic and picks up/lets off passengers. Really nice and the bus doesn't block traffic when it makes multiple stops/starts. But, you have to plan for it. How would you like to be in a wheelchair and get off of a bus and be dropped off in a traffic lane with cars and no curb cut to get to a sidewalk? Maybe, in your view, wheelchair folks aren't paying gas taxes so should just grin and bear it. This is long overdue.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 8:33 p.m.

"Under the lawmakers' plan, the Michigan Department of Transportation now will be required to consider all users of the roads in all phases of road project planning, developing and constructing." And does it say how this will be paid for? Of course not. Keep legislating things that can't be paid for!

Inside MI GOP

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 8:23 p.m.

Why do I feel like Pam is a mother that has just given birth and is parading around her newborn baby and expecting nothing but 110% agreement to her claim that it is the most beautiful baby ever. I wonder if lame duck legislators, suffer from post legislatum depression. If they do, methinks they deserve it.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 6:08 p.m.

Does this mean the bike path from Hewitt to Carptenter will get fixed?


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 5:26 p.m.

Will the future planning take into account all the people leaving Michigan?