More than a decade after the greater Lansing area began projects to build, improve, expand, and connect pathways for pedestrians and cyclists, my family has been enjoying the opportunities to go for scenic bike rides and to commute by walk or bike to school, work, parks, and stores. The new site of my workplace, a non-creedal church that serves a diverse community, was chosen partly because the new network of pathways (in addition to the old network of public transportation) connects to it.
When I wrote the post below, the Great Recession had shut down local General Motors plants and left big areas around my neighborhood looking like post-apocalyptic wasteland. Where some people saw devastation, my husband and I saw opportunity for something better. As of 2020, some of the "GM Wasteland" is still a mess. Some of it has gone back to work manufacturing automobiles. Some of it has been filled in with arrays of solar panels to generate clean energy for the Lansing area. And around it all, beautiful walk and bike paths have unfurled like tree roots.
In the 2000s, I couldn't have known exactly how the local campaign for Complete Streets would pan out, but I was obviously excited about the possibilities! This is a timely reminder that sometimes grassroots initiatives for community change do succeed and transform people's lives quickly. I'd like to see even more infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, but for now, we are making the most of the wonderful new routes we have. And I recently had the pleasure of voting (by mail!) to re-elect the community leaders that supported our Complete Streets Ordinance.
As I write this post, my husband is preparing to commute by bike from our home west of Lansing to the city east of Lansing, to go to work managing a bike shop. Yes, his legs are very sexy.
What's sexier than a muscle car? SEXY LEGS! Or sexy, buff arms, if you get 'round in a wheelchair!
Some intrepid citizens of Lansing just collected enough petition signatures to get a "Complete Streets Ordinance" passed, which will make the city more biker- and pedestrian-friendly.
Goodbye, General Motors plants... Hello, healthy, safe kids and fit, sexy people on wheels!