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E-M:/ Citizens convince MDOT to scrap Petoskey Bypass after 15-year effort
- Subject: E-M:/ Citizens convince MDOT to scrap Petoskey Bypass after 15-year effort
- From: Kelly Thayer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 18:18:23 -0400
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: Kelly Thayer <email@example.com>
Sept. 24, 2002
FROM: Kelly Thayer, Michigan Land Use Institute
Citizens convince MDOT to scrap Petoskey Bypass after
Here's some phenomenal news from Petoskey on Monday night.
The Michigan Department of Transportation announced the permanent
withdrawal of their 15-year effort to build a $90 million bypass around
Petoskey's nationally historic downtown and through active farms and
countryside that presently are free of sprawl.
Instead, MDOT promised to fund a locally controlled study of local road
improvements, which residents of this northern Michigan resort town have
sought for more than a decade.
The announcement was a stunning about-face in the often hotly contested
debate over whether the bypass would actually relieve congestion on U.S.
31 through Petoskey and its likely affect on the viability of the
downtown and the township farmsteads. In recent years, the bypass debate
had drawn national attention on the city of about 6,000 residents along
Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay.
MDOT Director Greg Rosine said that strong and sustained local opposition
to the bypass was central to the department's decision to end its $4
million study, which proposed to build a 10-mile bypass across southern
“There was never a consensus in the community; it was fairly split. This
was a difficult process,” Director Rosine told an audience of about 150
residents who gathered for the hastily called meeting. Many of those in
attendance applauded and cheered at the announcement. Bypass supporters
immediately began filing out, stunned by the department’s reversal after
years of insistence that the bypass must be built.
For 15 years, many residents of the city and Bear Creek and Resort
townships maintained that Petoskey is a major tourist destination and
therefore would not benefit from a highway bypass designed to allow
traffic to pass through without stopping. Residents asserted that a
bypass would have weakened the downtown, a national historic landmark
with a mix of boutique and pedestrian shops, broad sidewalks, and an
expansive central park. And they feared the bypass would unleash a wave
of sprawl across the actively farmed townships. Instead, residents asked
for MDOT to improve the existing U.S. 31 and to assist in upgrading local
MDOT should be thanked for hosting the special meeting and making the
announcement in person to cancel the bypass.
Petoskey area residents should be thanked by all Michigan citizens, as
well as northern Michigan's many tourists, for protecting one of the
state's premier areas of scenic beauty and thriving small town
BY RYAN BENTLEY
PETOSKEY NEWS-REVIEW STAFF WRITER
Sept. 24, 2002
The years spent by the Michigan Department of Transportation
contemplating what route U.S. 31 should follow through the Petoskey area
have come to an end with a decision not to build a bypass route, MDOT
officials announced Monday...
September 24, 2002
State says no U.S. 31 beltway in Petoskey
- MDOT did offer to pay for a local-roads option if area officials
can decide on one
By KEITH MATHENY
Record-Eagle staff writer
PETOSKEY - It's no way, beltway.
After nine years of direct study and local wrangling, the Michigan
Department of Transportation unveiled its recommendation on a proposed
bypass of U.S. 31 around the city Monday...
Mr. Kelly Thayer
Transportation Project Manager
Michigan Land Use Institute
205 South Benzie Boulevard
P.O. Box 500
Beulah, MI 49617