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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Flint’s Ingenious Plan to “Right-Size” Its Streets With Road Diets @StreetsblogDC

Flint, Michigan, is probably best known as the poster child for population loss and de-industrialization, as captured in the Michael Moore movie, “Roger and Me.”
The Saginaw Street road diet and walkability improvements have made downtown Flint increasingly attractive to business. Image: Detroit Free Press
Though this town of about 100,000 has never fully recovered from the loss of 30,000 General Motors jobs that was the subject of that film, Flint is becoming known for its innovative strategies dealing with population loss. Flint’s Genesee County Land Bank is a model for other post-industrial cities throughout the country.
Here’s one innovative new idea out of Flint that was a long-time coming and should be emulated in cities across the Rust Belt. Flint is planning to reduce excess vehicle capacity on its streets by implementing road diets that make room for walking and biking. Road diets “are central” to the city’s in-progress regional plan, known as Imagine Flint, according to a recent report by the Detroit Free Press. Imagine Flint is funded through a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Program (a grant program which Congress has since de-funded).

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