Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct 2. 2013
Break Out Your Colored Pencils: Time to Play Transportation Planner
Let’s Save Michigan Hosts Highways for Habitats Design Competition
Let’s Save Michigan (LSM) is giving away a brand new, Michigan-made bicycle for the best design idea for a slice of Michigan roadway. LSM’s Highways for Habitats design competition asks participants to: 1. Identify a road that is a drain on its community, and; 2. Reimagine that road so that it works better for the community it bisects.
The contest seeks, for example, those five-lane roads that divide a quaint downtown into isolated halves, or separate a neighborhood from a public park—those roads that make their surroundings feel unsafe to pedestrians and bicyclists, families with kids and seniors waiting for the bus. Entries should imagine a new version of that street—one that works for all kinds of users, and that encourages community health and economic development.
Contest participants are asked to submit one photo of the site they select, along with their design and a few words about why it makes sense, at this contest submission page (http://www.letssavemichigan.com/highways-for-habitats-entry-submission/) by Friday, October 18. The public will vote online to select the finalists, with the grand prize and a runner-up to be selected by a panel of judges.
A few words on what to enter: LSM is NOT necessarily expecting professional engineer-caliber drawings. Entrants may simply draw a picture, snap a photo of it with a camera phone and submit that. Everyone has a shot at the prize, as long as the entry effectively gets across the brilliant idea.
To help generate ideas, LSM has been collecting examples from all over the world on the Let’s Save Michigan blog for the past few months in a Highways for Habitats blog series. LSM also has compiled resources from around the country about good road design. Take a look and get inspired.
Entries can be uploaded here: http://www.letssavemichigan.com/highways-for-habitats-entry-submission/.
It’s been done all over the world: Roads can conduct vehicles while helping foster community and economic development. With the help of contest participants, Let’s Save Michigan plans to show Michigan’s leaders how it can be done.
LSM would like to thank the grand prize sponsor, Detroit Bikes! and the runner-up prize sponsor, Cross Country Cycle!
The Michigan Municipal League’s Let’s Save Michigan initiative is a citizen engagement and advocacy effort that promotes smart policies to build a restored Michigan—a state with good jobs, vibrant cities, accessible transportation, and first-rate cultural centers.
Let's Save Michigan advocates for policies and practices that support, revitalize, and promote Michigan's cities. For decades, disinvestment and our auto culture have contributed to the decline of our great public spaces. But thankfully, there is a new understanding in many communities and among many of our leaders that we need to reinvest in our public spaces, and rebuild the public amenities that make people choose to live, work, and play in Michigan's cities of all sizes. For this contest, the nonprofit Let’s Save Michigan asked stakeholders across Michigan to find an underutilized space in their community—an alley, a pocket park, a vacant lot—and then work together with members of the community to create and design a plan to turn that underutilized space into a welcoming, vibrant public place.