Top 5 Priorities
An action agenda
May 27, 1999 | By Kelly Thayer
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service
(Updated May 27, 1999)
The Michigan Transportation & Land Use Coalition’s five current priorities are:
Mandate that 10 percent (the maximum set by the state Constitution) of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s annual budget be directed to funding trains, buses, bicycle routes, and pedestrian walkways. In addition, establish an MDOT fund representing another 10 percent of its budget to reduce traffic congestion, limit sprawl, extend the life of existing roads, and promote alternatives to car trips.
Require MDOT to involve local residents in identifying transportation needs in a community and potential ways to meet the needs before planning new road or bridge construction. Then require local government consensus for a proposed project within three years of completing the needs assessment, or the project will be scrapped.
Mandate that MDOT bring all state roads into good condition and maintain repairs at a sustainable level before expanding the state’s road network. Road corridors in good condition should include smooth lane surfaces and, where possible, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, curb cuts, landscaping, and storm water retention — and should be sensitive to the surrounding environment, especially in historic and scenic areas.
Direct the state to create a comprehensive transportation and land use plan for Michigan before developing the next MDOT road and bridge construction plan. Numerous state agencies should play a part, including the state departments of Transportation, Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, Agriculture, and Education; and the state Family Independence Agency.
Prohibit planning and public funding of roads on railroad rights-of-way. Railroad corridors should be preserved for recreation and public transit use. Retain all state-owned rail corridors. Promote public purchase of abandoned, privately owned rail corridors.