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E-M:/ $1.3 billion I-94 widening in Detroit: March 6 & 7 Public Hearings Set

Feb. 28, 2001

TO: Enviro-Mich
FROM: Kelly Thayer, Michigan Land Use Institute

$1.3 billion I-94 widening in Detroit:
March 6-7 Public Hearings Set

Hi Folks:

The Michigan Department of Transportation's proposal to spend $1.3 billion to widen a seven-mile stretch of I-94 in Detroit is open to public comment until March 27. The freeway would be 8 lanes wide, with 6 lanes of service drives, and room for 4 future lanes of freeway.

MDOT plans public meetings on March 6 & 7. The times and locations are detailed in the state's press release (below), along with information on how to get a copy of the state's I-94 study.

The proposal's $1.3 billion price tag is equal to MDOT's entire annual expenditure on road and bridge repair and construction throughout Michigan. It's nearly 10 times the state's annual funding for local bus service. One-third of Detroit households do not own a car. Families in Southeast Michigan now spend more on transportation costs than they do on food and health care combined.

There are better ways to move people and goods in metro Detroit, while improving air quality, protecting public health, and promoting smart land use. In fact, this portion of Detroit is the focus of several rail studies and plans.

Michigan’s Congressional delegation has directed the state transportation department to consider rail options by earmarking funds for these studies:

Lansing (via Howell & Ann Arbor) to Detroit Commuter Rail -- To learn more, go to the Capital Area Transit Authority web site: www.cata.org/news/rail_study/index.html

Downtown Detroit to Metro Airport Commuter Rail  By May, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments expects its consultants to complete a study of commuter rail service between downtown Detroit and Detroit Metropolitan Airport. For more information, contact Carmine Palombo, Director of Transportation, SEMCOG, (313) 961-4266 or via e-mail at <palombo@semcog.org>

Truly Fast Buses
Detroit's Metropolitan Affairs Coalition is considering a train-like rapid bus system, with bus-only lanes and on-board devices that turn traffic lights green as the buses approach. You can learn more about Detroit’s “SpeedLink” study at http://www.semcog.org/mac/mac_speedlink.html

Citizen Action
Some of the Metro Detroit groups working to promote better mobility for everyone include:

Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES) - Contact Janice Joseph or Vicky Kovari at 313-838-3190

Transportation Riders United (TRU)- Contact Karen Kendrick-Hands at 313-885-7588

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice - (DWEJ) - Contact Terrace Lang at 313-821-

Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers (MARP) - Contact John DeLora at 810-772-7842.

Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM) - Contact Brian Imus at 734-662-6597

Thank you,


MDOT Press Release:
For Immediate Release. February 27, 2001

Contact: Brenda Peek Office of Communications 248-483-5100
                E-Mail:  peekb@mdot.state.mi.us

Public Hearing Advisory For Proposed I-94 Rehabilitation Project
Area businesses, residents and motorists encouraged to attend one of two meetings

WHAT:   The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting an open-house-style public hearing to solicit input on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for the proposed I-94 rehabilitation project. The limits of this project extend from I-96 to Conner Avenue and include the rehabilitation of the Lodge Freeway (M-10) and I-75 (Fisher Freeway) interchanges.

WHO:    MDOT staff and department consultants will be available to discuss the DEIS and project-related questions.

Comments can also be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to: José A. López, Public Hearings Officer, Bureau of Transportation Planning, Michigan Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 30050, Lansing, Michigan 48909; fax: (517) 373-9255; e-mail: lopezjos@mdot.state.mi.us.

WHEN:   Day One: Monday, March 5, 2001
        3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
        7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Day Two: Tuesday, March 6, 2001
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Day One: Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History
        315 East Warren Avenue
        Detroit, Michigan

        Day Two: Kettering High School
                6101 Van Dyke Avenue
                Detroit, Michigan

Court reporters will transcribe official comments from those attending the hearings. Copies of the DEIS and summaries are available for review during normal business hours at: Detroit Neighborhood City Halls (at 12048 Grand River, 106 CAY Municipal Building, 7737 Kercheval, and 13303 W. McNichols); four Detroit Public Library locations (Main Branch at 5201 Woodward Ave., Duffield Branch at 2507 W. Grand Blvd., Chandler Park Branch at 12800 Harper, and the Mark Twain Branch at 8500 Gratiot); Neighborhood Service Organization - Harper/Gratiot Multi-Service Center at 9641 Harper; Wayne County Commission's Department of Public Affairs at 600 Randolph St.; Warren/Conner Development Coalition, 11148 Harper; MDOT's Region Office, 18101 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield; and MDOT's Detroit Transportation Service Center, 723 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit; and MDOT Bureau of Transportation Planning, 425 W. Ottawa, Lansing.

The public comment period will end on March 27, 2001.


Mr. Kelly Thayer
Transportation Project Coordinator
Michigan Land Use Institute
P.O. Box 228
845 Michigan Ave.
Benzonia, MI 49616
Ph: 231-882-4723
Fax: 231-882-7350
E-mail: kelly@mlui.org