Nonmotorized advocates busy in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Ypsilanti, Michigan, has a Nonmotorized Advisory Committee that scored a major success in 2011 and hopes to build on it, according to the Ypsilanti Courier.
Last September, the committee shepherded passage of a Complete Streets ordinance that requires road reconstruction projects to include facilities such as bike lanes and crosswalks that accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. Ypsilanti, with a population of about 20,000, is six miles east of Ann Arbor in lower Michigan.
According to the newspaper, the committee's priorities for 2012 include expansion and improvement of the Border-to-Border Trail, publication of a map of the Ypsilanti segment of the trail, adding bike racks, promotion of Bike to Work Week in May and outreach to motorists including new high school drivers.
The nonmotorized committee would also like Ypsilanti to seek designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists. That process would take more than a year, but in the mean time would provide city officials with feedback as to what other improvements ought to be made, the
Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority member Kevin Hill said there is more progress to be made by the committee. "If this didn't exist, there would be far less talk about non-motorized transportation," he said. "To people who don't bike or are married to the automobile, this seems strange, but all surveys indicate that what makes a community viable are hiking, biking and walkability. Just because people haven't bought into that yet, doesn't mean they won't eventually."
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