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E-M:/ Michigan Groups Receive Transportation Award for I-73 Campaign

Enviro-Mich message from "Conan Smith" <conanmec@voyager.net>


Contact: Mark Helm (202) 783-7400 x102
David Hirsch (202) 783-7400 x215
Cindy Eicholtz, SPRAWL (734) 428-3426
Rob Oreskovich CAUSE (734) 854-8395

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2001

Friends of the Earth Honors Two Groups with *Road Warrior* Award

Washington, D.C. -- Friends of the Earth honored two Michigan groups with
"Road Warrior Awards" for their successful efforts to stop the I-73 highway.
The award recipients are the Society to Protect Rural Areas, Wetlands and
Lakes (SPRAWL) and Citizens Against Urban Sprawl Expressways (CAUSE).  The
*Road Warrior Award* salutes efforts to halt traffic growth and urban sprawl
and honors this effort to improve the quality of life of Michigan.

"It is never easy to stop a big road project," said Brent Blackwelder,
President of Friends of the Earth. "Most regions don't understand or don't
care that a new road can bring environmental destruction and won't solve
traffic congestion.  These two groups deserve credit for educating the
public and stopping this project."

I-73 is a massive highway project planned from the Canadian border in
Michigan to South Carolina.  The disputed section in Michigan would have
been constructed from Jackson, Michigan to Toledo, Ohio.  Through meetings
and workshops, the groups helped educate the public that there are better
ways to reduce traffic congestion and accidents, while maintaining the local
character of the region.  In particular, the groups advocated spending money
to fix existing roads.  On June 12, 2001, the Michigan Department of
Transportation announced plans to suspend the study of I-73 and use the
remaining study funds to repair existing roads.

Friends of the Earth, a national environmental organization, awards the
"Road Warrior Award" several times a year to organizations or individuals
working to stop destructive and poorly planned road projects that threaten
the environment.  Previous Road Warrior award recipients include the town of
Rutland, Vermont, People for U.S. 23 Freeway Alternatives in Michigan, the
Baltimore Regional Partnership and Carroll Life in Maryland and the
Tri-State Transportation Campaign in New York.

The Road Warrior Award recipient was chosen with the help of an Advisory
Committee, which consists of: David Hirsch, Friends of the Earth; Hooper
Brooks, Surdna Foundation; John Holtzclaw, Sierra Club; Don Chen, Surface
Transportation Policy Project; Michael Replogle, Environmental Defense.

Friends of the Earth is a national environmental advocacy organization with
affiliates in 63 countries. For more information, please see our website at

-- end --

David Hirsch
Transportation Policy Coordinator
Friends of the Earth

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