In 2003, in an effort to become one of Michigan's most bike-friendly cities, Ann Arbor City Council dedicated 5% of its "Act 51" funds (funding from the Michigan Transportation Fund) to non-motorized transportation improvements. This funding is the only source of dedicated non-motorized transportation funding for the City of Ann Arbor. It has been used to build bike lanes, install pedestrian crosswalk signage, and educate cyclists on the rules of the road, among other activities. City Council has cut this funding to 2.5% and has chosen not to restore this funding to the past level of 5% this year. SIGN IT!! via CHANGE.ORG
In 2003, in an effort to become one of Michigan's most bike-friendly cities, Ann Arbor City Council dedicated 5% of its "Act 51" funds (funding from the Michigan Transportation Fund) to non-motorized transportation improvements. This funding is the only source of dedicated non-motorized transportation funding for the City of Ann Arbor. It has been used to build bike lanes, install pedestrian crosswalk signage, and educate cyclists on the rules of the road, among other activities. City Council has cut this funding to 2.5% in 2009 and has chosen not to restore this funding to the past level of 5% to date.
We need you to tell City Council that this policy decision is not acceptable. Please sign this petition TODAY and pass this message along to your friends.
It is 2013, we should not be reducing our dedicated non-motorized transportation funding, we should be increasing it! This funding is not even close to equitably funding the needs of our current transportation needs, let alone what we hope to see in the future. Today,
- Close to 5% of residents in Ann Arbor bike to work
- Over 15% of residents walk to work
In addition, it does line up with Council adopted priorities. Council adopted plans, even those adopted in just the last 12 months, do not support cuts to non-motorized transportation funding:
- The City's Climate Action Plan (adopted December 2012) states that improving options for biking and walking are key to reducing greenhouse gas house gases in the future
- A key Sustainability Framework goal (adopted July 2012) is to "establish a physical and cultural environment that supports and encourages safe, comfortable and efficient ways for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users to travel throughout the City."
In addition to the clear environmental and public health benefits of investing in non-motorized transportation facilities, this is also an economic development issue. The Michigan Municipal League has identified physical design/walkability as one of eight assets essential to creating desirable and vibrant communities in the 21st century.
Please take a minute today to sign our petition. If you have 10-15 minutes to write a personal note to the Ann Arbor City Council telling them you do not approve of the decision to defund the non-motorized transportation budget!
The Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, WATS, is holding a series of meetings around the County for residents to learn more about the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. Take the time to learn more about this important agency, the Long Range Plan and submit your comments. WATS is a multi-jurisdictional agency responsible for transportation planning in Washtenaw County.
Upcoming Meetings in Chelsea (4/17), Dexter (4/18), Ann Arbor (4/23) and Ypsilanti (4/24). Learn more about the upcoming meetings here.
Given the frequeny we hear the question "Are bikes vehicles", we thought we'd re-post this informative response. This answer was orginally posted in a discussion on WBWC's google group list serve by Kathy Vonk. Kathy is a Ann Arbor Police Department officer and League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor, among her many qualifications.
"I asked one of the Ann Arbor city attorneys about this, as well as the Executive Director for the League of Michigan Bicyclists. Here are their responses:
From the city attorney: I agree that bicycles are not included within the Michigan Vehicle Code definition of “vehicle”. That being said, as the posting points out, bicyclists operating on the public roads are still subject to the Michigan Vehicle Code, section 257.657: “Each person riding a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped or operating a low-speed vehicle upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter… That means red light/stop sign violations, wrong way street violations, etc., as well violations that are exclusive to bicycles (see MCL 257.656 et. seq. and UTC sec. 28.1603 et. seq.).
And from Rich Moeller, ED LMB (edited): We (cyclists) are not vehicles, but the vehicle code gives us "virtually" the same rights as cars. I have not found anything yet that is a negative for us not being classified as a vehicle according to the code.
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