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MI State Law - New Michigan Law Provides For Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety in the City

As Michigan is historically known as the Motor City, it is no surprise that many residents opt to use automobiles as their main form of transportation. However, even America’s car capital is not exempt from the economic downturn, and therefore many Michigan residents are changing their behavior as a result. For the first time in a long time, many people are choosing to walk or ride a bicycle to their destination, as it is not only environmentally friendly, but a much cheaper mode of transportation.

Any top personal injury lawyer could point out that state transportation laws generally coincide with the behavioral trends of the people, intended to maintain the safety of all on the roads. Because most Michigan residents were auto owners and drivers in the past, lawmakers responded by creating several laws governing that particular form of transportation. However, as pedestrians and bicyclists become more common, lawmakers have enacted new laws to adapt with the changes in residents’ behavior.

The Michigan Legislature recently passed an act that requires city transportation planners to allocate for “complete streets.” Defined, this means that municipal streets are accommodating to not only cars and motorcycles, but pedestrians and bicyclists as well. It is hoped that the complete streets would result in road designs that consider every potential user, regardless of their mode of transportation, age, or ability. Likely, the changes will include wider city streets (also accommodating local businesses), with lower speed limits.

While it is unlikely that all municipal streets will immediately include these changes, this act is important because it requires public officials to consider complete streets equal in importance to highways and service drives. However, the possibility of adding a public rail system in Michigan could speed up the additions to municipal streets, using the extra space on many roadways found throughout the state.

Any dedicated Michigan injury attorney would see the new act as a step in the right direction. Not only does it require cities to become more accommodating, it also works to prevent terrible accidents on roads and sidewalks. Lowering speed limits and widening streets certainly benefits pedestrians and bicyclists, keeping them further away from motorized traffic. If involved in a collision with a car, those traveling by foot or bike generally suffer the greatest consequences, including serious personal injury or death. If injured in a similar accident, it is essential to contact a hard-working and knowledgeable Michigan injury lawyer for help. Doing so will provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to receive a positive outcome for any personal injury claim.