Making Mid- (and South-) Michigan Bike Friendly

The poll asking about the degree of bike-friendliness in the state of Michigan has taken an interesting turn with three votes (at the time of writing) saying “no way.” I’m curious to know what it is (besides the cold and snow) that readers find troublesome. (Note: I’m equally interested in hearing from those who rate it favorably regarding what it has going for it.) Is it lack of infrastructure? Is it the attitudes and actions of motorists? Is it something else? I ask because I’m very interested in finding ways to rally the cycling community around these issues so that Michigan as a whole and Adrian in particular can be top-rated cycling communities.

A number of months ago, the following was circulated on the League of Michigan Bicyclists Region 6 listserv:

Help Make Mid-Michigan Walk and Bike Friendly!

The Lansing Walking & Bicycling Task Force has created a set of community engagement tools to mobilize residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to advocate for walk and bike friendly communities. Visit www.walkbikelansing.com to see how the project is being piloted in Lansing. The goal is to elevate awareness and advocacy for walkability and bikeability improvements. Tools include draft letters and resolutions of support, fact sheets, dialogue tools, action alerts, and a draft Walk and Bike Lansing! plan, which offers 76 recommendations for making Lansing a walk and bike friendly city. Get involved by scheduling a community discussion, subscribing for Action Alerts!, providing a letter or resolution of support, or giving feedback on the Walk and Bike Lansing! plan.

This is a terrific idea. The LMB Region 6 representative (i.e., the one covering Clinton, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, and Shiawassee counties) reports that they are experiencing an uptick in bike advocacy activity in the Lansing area, which includes a push for a City of Lansing Complete Streets ordinance, and a new Non-Motorized Plan (part of the Walk and Bike Lansing initiative mentioned above). He wants to see more of that momentum move south into communities like Adrian and Hillsdale. I couldn’t agree more.

If you haven’t already done so, check out the Walk and Bike Lansing website. Also, pony up 25 bucks to get yourself a membership to LMB. Finally, let’s begin talking about what we can do to make Adrian the most walkable and bikeable city in southern Michigan.

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