Residents Call On MDOT To Ditch The DIFT
Citing the DIFT’s
likely heavy pollution impacts, business closings, job losses and threats to
“Clearly the area is experiencing reinvestment,” City Planner Marji Winters told the Planning Commission. “The staff believes the city must preserve and protect this reinvestment.”
In a detailed 17-page report on the DIFT, the
city’s planning staff also questioned whether the project would attract
enough freight business from
“We’ve said all along that MDOT’s proposal is too big, too destructive and that our proposed alternative is a better fit for the community,” said Kavanaugh. “Now that the Detroit City Planning Commission agrees, it’s time for our elected officials to demand that MDOT consider the community’s proposed alternative.”
MDOT says the proposed DIFT would bring 16,000 more
trucks a day into southwest
and 74 homes. The planning report cited
an initial survey of 13 of the 78 businesses in southwest
Kathryn Savoie, co-chair of CBRA, noted that if those averages hold up nearly 2,000 employees who work in businesses slated for demolition would be impacted by the DIFT.
“MDOT’s DIFT is
a ‘destroy the village to save it’ proposal,” said
Savoie. “Here we have a
revitalized community in
The city planning report questioned whether the
proposed DIFT was economically viable, noting that MDOT is relying on a
9-year-old study for its proposal. The
report says MDOT’s consultants have failed to
document the current need for additional land beyond the 300 acres at the
existing Junction Yard rail facility in southwest
“(The planning) staff has determined that there are many unanswered questions regarding the purpose and goal of the project, the primary one being that if the DIFT yard is developed, will it achieve this purpose (stated another way—if they build it will they come)?” the report stated.
CBRA is proposing that MDOT make improvements to the existing 300-acre Junction Yard as well as upgrades to local streets already impacted by heavy truck traffic. CBRA opposes any expansion of the truck and freight facility that will degrade local residential areas and businesses.
MDOT is conducting a federal Environmental Impact Statement on the project, but has yet to consider the community’s alternative proposal in its study.
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