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E-M:/ MI DOT Ditches $90 Million Petoskey Bypass; MLUI and ELPC help lead fight

Sept. 26, 2002

Hi Folks:

Here's a follow-up to Tuesday's posting regarding the demise of the Petoskey bypass...

The Michigan Land Use Institute and the Environmental Law & Policy Center would like to share news of the spectacular defeat this week of a highway bypass pushed by the Michigan Department of Transportation for 15 years with $4 million in studies. The Petoskey bypass is dead and the city's thriving downtown, the township's active farms, and region's cobalt-blue Little Traverse Bay are better for it.

MDOT actually conceded Monday night that public opposition to the 4-lane highway was too great to overcome. And MDOT concluded that the $90 million bypass would not draw enough traffic away from the existing highway to justify its construction. Local residents had said from the beginning that a bypass of a resort community on Lake Michigan, with a nationally historic downtown, wouldn't attract much traffic away from the scenic city center. MDOT finally agreed.

The Institute and ELPC helped by rallying citizens, critiquing the EIS, and meeting with state and federal transportation officials. Perhaps most importantly, we also hired the Chicago-area transportation planning firm New Alternatives, Inc., to assist residents in developing a local road option. The option remains the most viable choice for relieving congestion and respecting existing land uses.

MDOT pledged Monday to fund the study of local roads, and federal funding already is in place to build what's chosen. Petoskey area residents and officials should be thanked by all Michigan residents, as well as northern Michigan's many tourists, for protecting one of the state's premier areas of natural beauty and thriving small town life.

Please see the story here:

Thank you,
Kelly Thayer, MLUI

Mr. Kelly Thayer
Transportation Project Manager
Michigan Land Use Institute

205 South Benzie Boulevard
P.O. Box 500
Beulah, MI 49617

Ph: 231-882-4723
Fax: 231-882-7350
E-mail: kelly@mlui.org
Internet: http://www.mlui.org/