Michigan Land Use Institute

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There's a Better Way to Get There (Page 1)

Michigan draws closer to a new vision for moving people and products

August 1, 1999 | By Keith Schneider
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

More than in most states, Michigan's culture and economy have been distilled by its experience with roads and cars. The construction of the nearly 10,000-mile state highway system, and 109,000 miles of local roads, have influenced the lives of every resident more than any other program undertaken by state government.

Now, for the first time since Michigan launched its road-dominated transportation policy in 1943, a new debate has erupted in Lansing and in other key regions including Traverse City, Petoskey, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, and Detroit.

At its core are two critical questions:

  • Is Michigan's road-dependent transportation system producing more harm than benefit to communities and the environment?

  • And is a policy designed nearly 60 years ago — one that gives short shrift to alternatives — flexible and creative enough to keep the state's economy and quality of life competitive in the next century?

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