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County Considers "Complete Streets" Ideas

Richard Durdl

A resolution to improve local non-motor transport has bipartisan support on the Kalamazoo County Commission. Democrat Julie Rogers and Republican Dale Shugars say the county can make it safer and easier to move around on foot, on a bike or in any case without a car.

The “Complete Streets” resolution commissioners discussed Tuesday doesn’t include specific policies. But it calls for the county to plan its roads so they “provide appropriate access to all legal users.”

Jim Ferner is with the nonprofit group the Complete Streets Coalition. He says the resolution can help change the county's approach to transport.

“Start, you know, one road at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once. But just get started. Anything you can do would be better than what we’ve got now,” he says.

Supporter Paul Ecklund says he also hopes the county will adopt the resolution.

“It’s a means of being able to access this community. To make it an inclusive community that’s safe and accessible to everyone,” he says.

While the Complete Streets concept isn’t new, the county resolution was introduced two weeks after a deadly crash. Five bicyclists were killed and four injured when a pickup truck struck them on north Westnedge Avenue.

Ferner acknowledges that a better approach to non-motor traffic might not have prevented that crash, adding that personal responsibility and compassion for others also affect people’s safety on the road.

The commission is expected to vote on the Complete Streets resolution at its next meeting.

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Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.
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