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Connected Community: Complete Streets (And Beyond)


Connected Community: Complete Streets

Tuesday April 5 • 5:30-8PM at the Traverse City Area District Library

TART, a MyWHaT underwriter, will be convening a community conversation about Complete Streets on April 5th. The event is intended as an introduction and discussion of Complete Streets and how the policy is a starting point to a more connected community. This author will facilitate an introductory discussion of the concept and current legislation. In addition to myself, Nancy Krupiarz, the Executive Director of the Michigan Trails and Greenway Alliance, will connect how other communities are coming together, creating complete streets, and how these statewide actions are interconnected.

32 Michigan communities now support street construction with designs that are inclusive to all users with resolutions or ordinances. Michigan actually leads the country in local governments passing specific Complete Street policies.

This is a participatory session with plenty of time for questions, input and connecting with other people in the community who want to build a better community. We have a lot of grand assets in our favor and complete streets is just one of the pieces needed to continue to harness that potential. We trust that participants will go away with a better understanding of what they can do to build a more connected community.

A follow-up meeting is anticipated.

See you Tuesday April 5th at 5:30PM at the Traverse Area District Main Library.

If you’re interested in more information, send a message below or call the TART Trails office at (231) 941-4300.

  1. T. Werner
    March 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Very low hanging fruit for complete streets…
    Maybe just a complete block or two, not even a whole street…

    I don’t know the entire history, but it is my understanding that Traverse City has thought about a counter flow bike lane in the 600 block of W.7th St. for at least two years. For the few of you that do not know, this is a one way street heading west to a traffic signal at Division St. The signaled intersection is part of a main bicycle and pedestrian route between Central neighborhood and the Commons/Munson complex. In fact it is part of the Tart in Town route system, but is not signed completely between Maple St. and Elmwood Ave. Bicycles travelling east to the intersection following the route signs are simply abandoned to their own creativity. Bicycle on the sidewalk for a block? Head north or south on Division for a block? Bicycle the wrong way on 7th for a block?

    Adequate signage is not possible without striping for counter flow bicycle traffic (east bound) on the 600 block of 7th. The City had been waiting to move on this until plans for Division St. firmed up. Any significant changes to Division St. at 7th (read as roundabout at 8 ½, etc.) are at least 5 years away, so let’s improve the intersection now.

    In addition to making east bound bicycle travel safer and legal, striping will also make that portion of 7th safer for automobiles and pedestrians. I don’t have statistics, only my own anecdotes from this week:

    • Yesterday while I was bicycling with my six year old eastbound to the Division/7th intersection, we observed two automobiles eastbound at the intersection in the far north lane of the street. This lane is for west bound traffic! When the light turned green for east/west traffic, the west bound cars had to wait for the very confused east bound drivers to turn north on Division and get out of their west bound lane. Striping could help.

    • Yesterday while I was driving my automobile eastbound to the same intersection and had a green light to turn north on Division, my wife and I observed an automobile turn east on red from the southbound lanes of Division. So, they turned the wrong way onto a one way street, and ran a red light at the same time. Striping alone won’t help, but maybe with signs.

    • Two days ago while I was bicycling south across the intersection of Maple St. and 7th St. (one block east of Division St.) I was almost hit by a westbound car running the stop sign. There was a westbound panel truck that stopped at the stop sign, but the car was in a hurry and was passing the truck on its left side. Because the street is meant for a single lane of automobile traffic, there are only stop signs on the right hand side at the intersection. She didn’t see a stop sign, because she was passing the truck at the intersection. Striping a counter flow bicycle lane, and including signs could remind automobile drivers that 7th St. is only one lane for automobiles. Sounds like traffic calming to me.

  2. March 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    The 7th Street intersection is a boondoggle; one-way streets will have that impact as they aren’t called broken streets for nothing. I wasn’t aware that the contraflow bike lanes were actually considered. I know they have been suggested, numerous times by numerous people, but each time it’s a non-starter with our current engineering department that sticks to the book. I believe contraflow bike lanes were just recently approved in the new MUTCD guide, so there will soon need to be more substantial arguments on why not to use them than just simply that they aren’t allowed.

    The intention of the April 5th event is in hopes of getting communities, Traverse City included, to a point where we don’t have to fight block by block for improvements. What are the tools and where is the energy to getting us to a point where the implementation of streets for all is the basis by which everything is built. The ultimately goal being a connected community for everyone. I look forward to hearing ideas generated at the discussion on how we get to that goal.

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