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SG-W:/ Major Transportation Policy Changes

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation will hear testimony on two major policy iniatives that will
impact urban sprawl.

Build Michigan III is a $900 million bond proposal, more than half of which
will be used to widen existing roads or build new highways.  Included in the
BM3 proposal is the controversial US-31 bypass in Ottawa County (check out
www.nobypass.org).  In 1997 when Michigan citizens supported raising the gas
tax to cover repairs, little did they know that much of this money would be
spent on building new roads rather than filling potholes.  Now the Michigan
Department of Transportation is mortgaging 15 years of state income to
continue this wholly unsustainable pattern.  

P.A. 51 is the state transportation funding formula, which currently
dedicates less than 10 percent of transportation revenues to projects that
manage transportation demand, like bus systems, light rail or carpooling.
MEC and the Michigan Land Use Institute have repeatedly spoken out against
business as usual in this new formula.
(http://www.mlui.org/projects/transport/coalition/mtlucintro.html or
www.mdot.state.mi.us/act51 for more info).

Neither of these proposals have bill numbers yet.

Conan Smith
Land Programs Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
p. (517) 487-9539
f. (517) 487-9541