Michigan streets to get bike friendly, Saginaw Valley to get greener

Notice I said Saginaw Valley. I can’t find the Great Lakes Bay on a map. I can, however, smile when I see my youngest daughter riding her bike on two wheels. She learned earlier this year, a little later than her older sister. Today, she was riding with a neighborhood boy, a nice little guy. It will be a few years before I have to start telling him “I’m not afraid to go back to prison” and quote verses from “Cleaning This Gun.”

Hopefully, it will be sooner before there are better places to ride your bike in the Saginaw Valley (there it is again) and people here will be more aware of what’s going on with the local environment (as in green, not development).

News came today that “Complete Streets,” a nationwide campaign to make America’s streets more bicycle- and people-friendly, has passed the House and is headed to the Senate. Michigan, being an auto state, is historically unfriendly to the nonmotorized, and it’s made us fat and helped fuel urban sprawl.

Also coming down the road in my neck of the Saginaw Bay woods is a new “Green News Network” at Saginaw Valley State University. Coverage of environmental news around here just ain’t what it used to be (shameless plug), but this should help spread awareness, and keep important environmental issues like beach muck and coal-fired pollution on people’s minds. A better informed populace equals a cleaner environment, in many cases. Remember all the harping about beach muck and how it eventually got the attention of state leaders? Although the public needs to start squeaking about that again.

The GNN (like a green CNN) will be funded with a $2,522 grant from the school’s Student Research and Creativity Institute. The grant went to sisters Julie and Lisa Luce, both professional and technical writing majors from Bay City, and will be used to report on enviro news at SVSU. That includes buying video equipment and building a Web site. Up to five students will report for the network.

Not bad. Just what our bay needs, more eyes and ears. Like Complete Streets, it’s a path to improvement (clever, huh?).

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