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The Citizens Police Academy is your opportunity to learn more about how the Battle Creek Police Department operates. The Academy runs once a year. The Citizens Police Academy is a group of Battle Creek area citizens who are interested in learning more about how their Police Department operates and the policing challenges our community faces. Participants in each session commit to meeting for 3 hours, 1 night per week for 10 weeks to learn about each aspect of the department.
The purpose of the Battle Creek Police Citizens Academy is to develop positive relations between the police and community through education. The goals are to create a growing nucleus of responsible, well-informed citizens who have the potential of influencing the public opinions about police practices and services. Citizens will gain an appreciation of the problem and challenges facing law enforcement and have an opportunity to offer comments and ideas regarding solutions.
Participants must be 18 years of age or older. They must be a resident of the City of Battle Creek, Bedford Township, a business owner in the area or otherwise have a vested interest in the community. Participants will be chosen at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
You may contact Jenny Mualhlun at 269-966-1678 for more information, or just fill out the quick and easy
The ordinance prohibits the handheld-use of a phone, or any "two-way wireless electronic communication device," while driving a vehicle (with exceptions, explained below). This includes scrolling and typing on said phone or device, as well as speaking.
This is a change in the rules in the Uniform Traffic Code, Chapter 410 in the city's code of ordinances. See the city's ordinances here.
Within the boundaries of the City of Battle Creek. Approximately 30 signs will be posted at entry points to the city. They are proposed to look like this:
Friday, Feb. 15, 2019*
*Police will not write tickets for violation of this law until signs are posted at city entry points. This is expected to take place after Feb. 15.
Yes -- MCL 257.602b. This state law specifically prohibits texting while driving. While some state laws prohibit municipalities from passing related laws, this one does not. The City of Battle Creek is not in conflict with the state law.
Yes -- the City of Troy and the City of Detroit. Troy's ordinance includes an expansive definition of "distracted driving," which could include eating while driving. Detroit's ordinance prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.
The idea cam several years ago from the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee, of which former Mayor and Commissioner Dave Walters is chairman (at the time the law was approved). The committee, including current Commissioner Kaytee Faris, brought research and ideas to city staff to draft the ordinance.
Cyclists are in the unique position to more frequently see into vehicles, and notice when drivers are using cell phones. This is a safety concern for cyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers.
The new ordinance is viewed as more enforceable than the state law, as it is difficult to prove that someone was texting while driving, as opposed to scrolling through Facebook or browsing the internet. The ordinance addresses a broader variety of activities that take drivers' attention away from the road.
The City Commission introduced the ordinance on Jan. 22, 2019, and voted it into law on Feb. 5, 2019.
Yes -- those driving in the city can talk hands-free with a Bluetooth wireless vehicle connection, or using a Bluetooth wireless headset connected to a cell phone.
Yes -- those who are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission may use radio service equipment in their vehicles.
Yes -- an exception to the rule applies to reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious road hazard.
Exceptions also are in place for reporting a situation when a person believes their personal safety is in danger, and reporting the potential or actual perception of a crime.
Police Chief Jim Blocker has said this issue is no more a priority than other laws enforced by the Battle Creek Police Department. It is a tool officers can use when it is necessary, and when they have the time. Police also plan to use this as an educational opportunity, to get the message out into the community that distracted driving is not safe driving.
Yes -- an exception is in place for police officers, law enforcement officials, members of a fire department, and emergency vehicle operators, while carrying out their official duties.
According to information collected by the Michigan State Police, Battle Creek is in the top 50 Michigan communities with the most distracted driving crashes. Battle Creek had 126 vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving in 2017. That is 8 percent of all crashes in Battle Creek, according to police.
Statewide, there were 7,516 crashes involving distracted driving in 2015, resulting in 28 deaths and 3,472 injuries. Of these, a cell phone was involved in 753 crashes, with three deaths and 251 injuries.
This was up from 5,353 such crashes in 2014, resulting in 14 deaths and 2,401 injuries.
Violating this local ordinance is a civil infraction; the fine for a first offense is $100, while the fine for second and subsequent offenses is $200. Any violation also could be subject to additional, court-assessed, costs.
The city and Bronson Battle Creek Hospital have attempted for a long time to make the intersection of Emmett Street and North Avenue safer for pedestrians, while maintaining the intersection's level of service. This is an extraordinary challenge, due to the off-site hospital employee parking, which generates an abundance of pedestrian trips at several different times throughout the day and night.
In addition, the intersection handles about 23,000 vehicles per day, along with the majority of hospital emergency room traffic.
City and Bronson staff met in January 2017 to discuss intersection safety. Following that meeting, the current "no turn on red" prohibition for all legs of the intersection was installed, and a new, mid-block crosswalk was installed at Emmett and College streets. Both of these improvements were in place at the time of a fatal crash at the intersection in October 2018.
This is a rendering of the proposed design:
In December 2018, the city hired OHM Advisors to perform a Road Safety Audit (RSA) at the intersection. An RSA is a formal safety performance examination of an existing intersection by an independent, multi-disciplinary team.
OHM presented the final report to the city and Bronson, with several short-term and long-term suggested improvements.
The city has implemented many of the short-term improvements – sign reduction and sign placement improvements, bus stop relocation, and traffic signal back plate installation. The city funded these changes through the normal traffic signal maintenance fund.
We still plan to make pavement marking upgrades, and a signal timing modification that will give pedestrians a head start, while all other phases sit at a red signal.
Currently at the intersection of Emmett Street and North Avenue:
Roundabout intersections are a growing trend that have demonstrated overall safety improvements. Advantages at the Emmett Street and North Avenue intersection are:
Some studies state that crash volumes have increased at roundabout intersections.
This is often true, but a closer look at the statistics shows that the overall benefits of a roundabout intersection include a massive reduction -- or elimination -- of accidents involving injury or death.
This is a trade-off we must consider to reach a goal of zero fatal accidents at the intersection. Currently, accidents at this intersection have resulted in one fatality, and one serious injury.
Unlike the Sprinkle Road roundabout, the proposed design for Emmett Street and North Avenue would be smaller, and only maintain a single lane of traffic. This design will force drivers to slow down, which has demonstrated that more cars yield to pedestrians. The slower the vehicles travel, the more likely they are to yield.
The roundabout in Marshall is much larger than the proposed roundabout at Emmett and North. The larger diameter and vehicle trail lanes make drivers more comfortable driving at higher speeds. This roundabout also allows pedestrians to cross into the center of the circle to visit the fountain in four separate locations, which causes two problems -- drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians, causing a crash; and drivers who do yield, which causes the roundabout to not operate properly. The proposed design at Emmett/North will only permit crossing a minimum of two car lengths outside the roundabout, to allow for yielding driver stacking, which then allows the roundabout to remain in operation.
In the proposed roundabout design, a pedestrian would encounter a safer scenario than what currently exists:
Currently, the intersection has a fair number of jaywalkers, crossing at points further away from the Emmett/North intersection. When asked why, the pedestrians stated that they felt safer crossing this way. The roundabout crosswalks would be positioned in similar areas, a distance away from the roundabout.
This setup allows drivers and pedestrians more time to recognize each other than 90-degree angles at a typical intersection.
The total cost would be approximately $1 million.
The proposed roundabout is eligible for two different grant programs. The city already has secured a $250,000 Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant for the project. We can submit a safety grant application in August to request $600,000 from the Michigan Department of Transportation. This means the city would need $150,000 from our normal road program funds.
This project also will reduce the city's traffic signal operations cost.
City staff have considered a pedestrian tunnel and bridge, but neither is a feasible solution at this intersection.
A tunnel is not feasible due to the current ground water table in the area.
A bridge is not feasible for the following reasons:
Call the city's Engineering Division, at 269-966-3343. You can email the city at PublicInput@battlecreekmi.gov.
You also can email us at PublicInput@battlecreekmi.gov. Voice a Concern form
An ordinance is effective 10 days after adoption, so applications will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 14. The City Commission approved the ordinance at the May 1, 2018 regular meeting.
City Hall Room 117, 10 N. Division St. On the first floor, it's the last door on the left. You also can call Planning staff with questions, at 269-966-3320.
A property owner or tenant (with written permission from the property owner) of single-family homes or duplexes.
1. Submit a hen license application, with the $20 fee, and submit a shed/fence application, with the $80 fee.
2. Once the applications are approved, you will have 30 days to complete the construction of the shed/fence, and request final inspection. If you do not complete this step in the allotted 30 days, you will lose your place in line for a permit.
3. If the shed/fence are approved, you will be issued your hen license.
4. Hens now are allowed on your property.
The number of hens allowed is based on the overall property size. Applicants must meet setbacks for the coop and enclosure.
Review the ordinance online here: ADOPTED urban livestock ordinance
View your property on the city's GIS mapping app here: BC map
Planning and Zoning staff can assist with additional questions at 269-966-3320.
No, you may not build/install the fence/shed prior to obtaining the permit, or you will be fined $150 for doing work prior to receiving a permit.
Yes -- the hen permit is good for three years. You must apply for a renewal license, for the fee of $20.
2008 -- In short, the 2008 laws provided a legal use of marihuana for medical purposes only by qualifying patients, and allowed caregivers to register and provide qualifying patients the marihuana. It also limited the amount of "usable" marihuana the patients could possess and the number of marihuana plants that could be grown. Marihuana dispensaries (selling) were not allowed.
2016 -- The 2008 laws are still in effect, but the 2016 laws allow for a series of commercial-like medical marihuana licenses: growing, processing, safety compliance (testing), transportation, and provisioning center (selling). Fewer restrictions apply, and the number of plants allowed to be grown may be well over 1,000 per license. A qualified patient or caregiver may purchase medical marihuana directly from a licensed provisioning center (dispensary).
Recreational marijuana is not legal in Michigan at this time.
1. Grower -- A commercial entity that cultivates, dries, trims, or cures and packages marihuana for sale to a processor or provisioning center.
2. Processor -- A commercial entity that purchases marihuana from a grower and extracts resin from the marihuana, or creates a marihuana-infused product for sale and transfer in packaged form to a provisioning center.
3. Safety Compliance (testing) -- A commercial entity that receives marihuana from a marihuana facility or registered primary caregiver, tests it for contaminants, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids, returns the test results, and may return the marihuana to the facility.
4. Secure Transporter -- A commercial entity that stores marihuana and transports it between marihuana facilities for a fee.
5. Provisioning Center (selling) -- A commercial entity that purchases marihuana from a grower or processor and sells, supplies, or provides marihuana to registered qualifying patients, directly or through their registered, primary caregivers.
City staff researched other, nearby communities to learn where they restrict or allow medical marihuana facilities. Through zoning regulations, which control land use, the city may allow these facilities in some areas, while prohibiting them in others.
Based on staff research, allowable locations may be industrial areas, like the area of the W.K. Kellogg Airport, Fort Custer Industrial Park, and limited commercial corridors. At this time, these locations are conceptual, as seen on these Medical Marihuana Maps.
Such facilities may be prohibited near residential neighborhoods, churches, schools, parks, and day cares. These prohibited areas are similar to other communities.
Community Comparisons: Click Here to see what other communities near Battle Creek are deciding on allowing/disallowing MMLFA uses.
The state-issued license does not automatically give approval at the city level. If the City Commission decides to allow medical marihuana licenses locally, there will be a new city permitting process and a set of local regulations that must be met.
Both a state license and local permit must be issued before a medical marihuana business can open in Battle Creek. At this time, it appears that a potential licensee would need conceptual approval from the city before the state would issue a medical marihuana license.
Based on current information, the state will restrict growing facilities to industrial and agricultural areas. Many cities are restricting further, keeping medical marihuana businesses a required distance away from schools, churches, parks, and residential properties. The City of Battle Creek has drafted conceptual maps, which show similar restrictions.
Click the link and scroll down the main Planning Division page to find the Medical Marihuana Maps
The State of Michigan has not established a minimum age. However, local communities may require a minimum age. Some nearby communities have used a minimum age of 18.
According to state law, stores that sell, or allow on-site consumption of, alcohol or tobacco products cannot sell medical marihuana.
Marihuana spelled with an "h" references the 2008 and 2016 Michigan laws pertaining to medical purposes. Marijuana with a "j" typically refers to recreational use.
The city can regulate, in part:
-Number of permits/licenses
-Proximity to other uses/businesses
-Hours of operation
-Size and height of buildings
-Types of businesses
In Michigan, marihuana can only be grown, distributed, and sold for medical purposes. States allowing recreational marijuana use regulate marijuana in a way similar to alcohol.
The City Commission may decide to require public notification for proposed medical marihuana businesses, depending on the type and number of licenses, or scale of the project.
The prohibited use of train horns at quiet zones only applies to trains when approaching and entering crossings and does not include train horn use within passenger stations or rail yards. Train horns may be sounded in emergency situations or to comply with other railroad or Federal Railroad Administration rules even within a quiet zone. Quiet zone regulations also do not eliminate the use of locomotive bells at crossings.
Communities wishing to establish quiet zones must work through the appropriate public authority that is responsible for traffic control or law enforcement at the crossings.
By comparison, according to a chart from the FRA, a car driving 40 mph, 50 feet away, would be in the 60- to 70-decibel range and a blender would be in the 70- to 80-decibel range.
Elm Street to McCamly Street, CN line -- 25 freight, 8 Amtrak, 3 Norfolk SouthernMichigan Avenue, CN crossing -- 25 freight, 2 AmtrakKendall Street, CN crossing -- 25 freightKendall Street, Michigan line crossing -- 8 Amtrak, 3 NS
As an example:Taking the total number of trains from Elm to McCamly, 36, multiplied by the number of horn blasts required by the federal Train Horn Rule -- two long, one short, one long (four) -- there are currently 864 horn blasts per day in this section. There are six crossings from Elm to McCamly.
There are a variety of safety measure options entities can use to accomplish this and vary by crossing. In addition to the required two-quadrant gates, lights and bells, improvements could be four-quadrant gates, raised curbs in the median, channelization and wayside horns. Entities also can choose to close a public crossing, removing the requirement for a train to sound its horn on approach.
We wish we had enough snow plows and drivers to take care of every street right away, but our resources are limited, so we must adhere to a carefully laid out system for clearing the streets. If we allowed our plows to be diverted each time a special request is made, it would take longer to get all streets in the city cleared. Plowing priorities are: 1) State trunklines and major streets; 2) Battle Creek Transit bus routes and around schools; 3) residential streets; 4) cul-de-sacs and alleys.
We estimate that it takes three days to plow the entire city.
Each snow plow has an assigned section. If the trucks spread salt on the way to their destination, they won't have enough to spread in their sections. Plus, other drivers passing through may plow off the salt without realizing it. Plowing along the way would mean that it would take that much longer for the truck to reach its assigned section.
A plow can easily cut a path through the snow on a straight road surface, but trying to plow and turn the blade in the small circle of a cul-de-sac is very difficult. Therefore, smaller pickup trucks with plows are used to plow most cul-de-sacs more efficiently than the large trucks. We also plow toward the middle of the street, to avoid filling driveways in this smaller space.Please note that cul-de-sacs are lower on our plowing priority list, since we have fewer neighbors living on them. We ask for your patience and our trucks will get to you.
We generally don't use sand because, in an urban setting like Battle Creek, sand washes into and can clog our storm sewers. However, there are occasions when we will use a small amount of sand, when roads are extremely icy and temperatures are extremely low. If we see a lot of hard-packed snow at an intersection and salt isn't working, we will use sand. We do not use sand downtown.
Sidewalks are a lower priority and our crews begin that work when possible, once roads are cleared. We have 300 miles of roads within the city limits and 25 crew members who plow in the 13 maintenance sections of the city.
When we're able, we clear city-owned sidewalks around our parks, cemeteries, and several other areas.
We do also have designated snow removal priority areas -- in particular around schools and public transportation routes. For more information on our sidewalk ordinance (Chapter 1022), please call our Code Compliance Division, 269-966-3387.
For the 2018-2019 season, we have a budget of roughly $2.1 million, which includes major, local, and MDOT roads. Plowing is funded by state Public Act 51 money, which comes from the gas and weight taxes. Local taxes do not fund snow plowing operations. Overall, our budgets have started to increase, but we face increased expenses. We deal with fuel costs, equipment costs (a dump truck cost $70,000 in 2000 and $125,000 in 2012), and salt costs.
We place two salt orders for the year. In 2018-2019, our early order (October delivery) was 500 tons at $60.43 per ton. Our seasonal order (throughout the winter) was 5,500 tons at $54.45 per ton. Total, that's nearly $330,000 for the season.
Route, schedule, and fare information is available on the Transit site. Route and Schedules
If you have an appointment scheduled for meter access, the service person will arrive within the two-hour appointment window given to you.
You always are welcome to call the Water Meter or Utility Billing Division if you have questions regarding an appointment.
There is the possibility that the old transmitter was not providing our system with a current read. If that is the case, the city has a process in place for reconciling the account. Should you see a water bill that seems out of line, please call Utility Billing at 269-966-3366 to review the steps to resolve an amount due. This situation is one of the reasons we are installing the new read system.