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E-M:/ Detroit Council Urged To Act on DIFT

News Release                                     More Information:

Tuesday, July 30, 2002                                                                              Karen Kavanaugh

                                                                                                                        313-842-0986 ext.26


Kathryn Savoie



Detroiters Urge City Council To Act On DIFT

Decision Wednesday On Proposed Opposition


In a letter released today by Communities for a Better Rail Alternative (CBRA), the Detroit City Council was strongly urged to oppose the proposed Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal (DIFT) in southwest Detroit when it meets Wednesday to consider a resolution sponsored by Council President Pro Tem Kenneth Cockrel Jr. 


The letter urging support for Cockrel’s resolution in opposition to the DIFT said the scale of the 840-acre DIFT proposal is so vast as to permanently alter the character of the southwest Detroit community, one of the city’s few growing commercial and residential neighborhoods.  Council’s opposition Wednesday to the DIFT is critical, CBRA said, so that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) can begin to seriously consider alternative proposals.


“With a supportive vote you will be sending MDOT a strong message that the Department must seriously consider scaling back the scope of the project and designing it so that there are real benefits to our communities,” the letter stated.  “It is important to send this message now as MDOT is in the early stages of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process and so the environmental impacts of any alternative proposals can be fully evaluated in the EIS."  


CBRA’s letter goes on to cite the impact of 16,000 additional trucks a day projected by MDOT to travel through southwest Detroit neighborhoods if the DIFT is developed as proposed.  CBRA wants MDOT to consider funding improvements to the existing 340-acre Junction Yard freight terminal as part of a scaled-back, community friendly alternative to the DIFT. 


The City Council is scheduled to take up Cockrel’s resolution when it meets Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.  The Detroit City Planning Commission has already gone on record in opposition to the DIFT.






Sent by:

David Holtz, Media Coordinator, Sierra Club