Community in Action
Examples of programs, policies, and tools in action.

Houghton MI implements Complete Streets

February 19, 2016

To increase physical activity in a rural region with high rates of unemployment and poverty, and lots of snow, Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula Health Department created the Copper County Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities partnership. This partnership increased opportunities for active transportation through a Complete Streets policy, Safe Routes to School, and improved bicycle and walking trails throughout the region.

Houghton, MI was the first city in the Upper Peninsula region and the sixth city in Michigan to enact a Complete Streets ordinance in December 2011. Complete Streets has been shown to improve health and safety, enhance a city’s livability, and increase economic development. To chart a course for Complete Streets implementation, Houghton adopted a comprehensive non-motorized transportation network plan in 2013 with maps and plans for bicycle lanes, sidewalk improvements, safer intersections, and a system of connected trails for bicyclists and walkers. In addition, Houghton will receive priority consideration for transportation enhancement projects from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

To learn more about this effort, visit the Active Living by Design (ALBD) summary of the program. To connect with Copper County’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities partnership, contact Project Coordinator Ray Sharp at [email protected]. You may also view a video about this community’s actions here.

Communities in Action provide examples of strategies or tools in action. Their purpose is to connect like-minded communities in their implementation efforts, giving insight into how others are tackling key challenges and what they've accomplished. To learn more about the evidence supporting this strategy's effectiveness or resources to help move towards implementation, see the What Works for Health summary of Streetscape design.

Date added: February 19, 2016