Posts Tagged Complete Streets

HKHC Case Examples: Complete Streets

The section below is (gratefully) reprinted from the Healthy Kids Healthy Communities web site’s Case Examples: Complete Streets document, which profiles efforts in Chicago, Denver, New Orleans and little Houghton, Michigan to enact policies that encourage safe road designs for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users of all ages and abilities. To see what the big cities are doing, and to view the complete document, go to

Thanks to Abby Lowe, Risa Wilkerson and all the folks at HKHC for spreading the good news and connecting communities.

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Houghton Complete Streets

Houghton, MI: Complete Streets Policy Win in the Upper Peninsula

In 2010, Houghton City Council passed a Bike Friendly Community   resolution, a bike-parking addendum to its zoning ordinances, and, after a process of committee work and public hearings, a Complete Streets ordinance. Houghton became the sixth Michigan city, and first in the rural Upper Peninsula region, to adopt a Complete Streets ordinance. As of July 2011, Michigan led the nation in local Complete Streets policies enacted, with 7 ordinances and 41 resolutions. Ordinances such as Houghton’s specify that all new roads and renovation projects must be designed to accommodate the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and transit users. Houghton is also one of 158 cities nationwide designated as a Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Next up for Houghton’s bike task force is starting work on an Active Transportation Plan, a guiding document that will provide recommendations for transportation projects that reflect the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and people with disabilities. The Complete Streets ordinance is one important factor that will make it that much easier for residents of Houghton to incorporate activity into their daily lives.

For more information, take a look here:
•    Michigan Complete Streets Coalition
•    An article in the Mining Gazette


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Healthy Communities Goals

Quiz: Which community-level outcome will lead to lower rates of chronic disease, disability and premature death?

A. Increase physical activity levels
B. Increase fruit and vegetable consumption
C. Decrease tobacco use and exposure
D. All of the above

Of course, the best answer is D. These are the three goals of Michigan’s Building Healthy Communities program, a program of the Michigan Department of Community Health. Here are some local examples of MDCH-funded initiatives that support one or more of these goals.

Bike lane, westbound Sharon Avenue, Houghton, west of Agate Street

Houghton has made great progress toward becoming more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. With help from MDCH on technical assitance and training, Houghton passed a Complete Streets ordinance in December 2010. MDCH funding has also helped with paving and striping bike lanes, and signage for bikers and walkers. When communities are safer and more convenient for walking, biking and public transit, and accommodate users of all ages and abilities, residents find it easier to incorporate more daily physical activity into their routines.

Ryan Street Community Garden, Hancock

The Ryan Street Community Garden at Finlandia University in Hancock, a project of the Sustainable Keweenaw Resource Center, also received funding from MDCH’s Building Healthy Communities grant, as well as donations from many community partners. The garden gives residents of the neighborhood an opportunity to grow (and eat) more veggies, and is a showcase to the community on organic gardening and permaculture methods and benefits.

CLK Heritage Garden at the elementary school in Calumet

Notice the sign, “Our Garden is Smoke-Free” displayed at the CLK school garden.  When a child or family comes to the garden, they see this message and associate a tobacco-free lifestyle, eating healthy foods, and getting exercise (by gardening) as three components of a healthier community.

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Hello Friends!

This is our big blue building, the main office of the Western U.P. Health Department, in Hancock, Michigan:

Health Department, Hancock

This is our healthy community:

Houghton Waterfront Trail, September 2010

Pewabic Street Community Garden, May 2010


This is our Healthy Western U.P. blog, where we venture beyond the blue building to bring you stories about where we live, work, study, play, shop and eat, featuring the work of public health and partners to build heathier communities for ourselves and our children.

In the days and seasons to come, we will share good news about pedestrian- and bike-friendly communities, community and school gardens, farmers markets, trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, safe routes to school, and other projects that help people become more physically active and eat well as part of their daily routines.

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