Contact MDOT: It’s about your future
Engage & Represent
Comments to MDOT can be sent to Bob Parsons, MDOT public involvement and hearings officer or email@example.com
Almost two-weeks ago, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) held an Open House in Traverse City concerning the next 25-year plan titled, “Moving Michigan Forward”. It was part of a statewide tour seeking comment on the current update to the plan.
I left wondering what the disconnect is between Lansing and regional offices, as well as the disconnect between citizens concerned about their communities and MDOT. Despite The state’s Transportation Commission recent approval of the statewide Complete Streets policy (PDF), questions about complete streets, pedestrian safety and comfort, and MDOT highways running through communities were answered dismissively.
Asked directly about the impact of the complete streets policy, the MDOT presenter flat-lined that “Michigan is an automobile state.” This was followed by an explanation that MDOT designs streets from the inside out and a complete street will only happen if there is money or right of way left over. That isn’t quite in the spirit or practice of complete streets.
Straighter, wider, faster: Is that the future?
Not every street is going to have 8-ft sidewalks, bike lanes and bus-stops, but with attitudes like this I don’t see many MDOT ROWs having anything other than 14-ft travel lanes, 16-ft turning lanes, giant turning radius, and as a result, speed limits set at the maximum allowable. Communities and mixed-use neighborhoods be damned, let alone safety for children and the ever-increasing elderly population.
That said, many MDOT representatives that I’ve spoken with in Lansing get it. They understand that Michigan’s future is tied to a more multi-modal, more land-use approach to planning of our transportation network. It is understood that with an aging population, our communities need networks more inclusive to active transportation and more effective public transit.
Those voices need your support. By Friday, please send a quick message to MDOT voicing your support for a more balanced approach to all users and an increased consideration for people on foot, bike, bus, and to the quality of life created when MDOT managed highways run through our communities. The people who live and navigate through those corridors require priority consideration in terms of treatments like better crossings and sidewalks, in addition to environmental concerns like emissions.
Please let MDOT know that you are proud that Michigan has a statewide complete streets policy and is a leader in the nation in terms of passing local policies. Now is the time to start planning for that future.
Comments to MDOT can be sent to Bob Parsons, MDOT public involvement and hearings officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also use this link to email…
Information about updating the plan is available here: http://www.michigan.gov/slrp
In addition to a quick email, please sign the online petition organized by Transportation Riders United calling for MDOT to plan for More Transportation Options, Not More Highways.
MDOT wants to hear from you: