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Re: SG-W:/ State of Michigan salt use study



Thanks, Mark - Really interesting, and something I hardly ever think of! We 
get tons of calls to put down salt, with no thought of the consequences. 
Christina


>From: Mark Cornwell <markac@umich.edu>
>Reply-To: <markac@umich.edu>
>To: <smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>
>Subject: SG-W:/ State of Michigan salt use study
>Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 14:00:12 EST
>
>Hello,
>
>On Thursday of last week Senator William VanRegenmorter, 22nd District,
>introduced Senate Bill 271calling for studies of the environmental impact 
>of
>salt and certain replacements.  The act, if approved, would be known as the
>"environmental road safety act".
>
>How does this relate to sprawl and land use?   Transportation 
>infrastructure,
>probably one of  the greatest source of environmental problems nationally, 
>has
>a direct cause/effect relationship with sprawl and the problems it creates.
>I suppose I should say it is our "car culture" that is more directly
>responsible but I, like most,  like my individual mobility and realize the
>blasphamy of even thinking that in this state.  That is not to say however
>that we can not learn to manage this freedom more responsibly until we 
>develop
>better alternatives.   The day may come when people will look with contempt 
>at
>those individuals whose vehicles are puking out excessive emissions in a
>similar way when being accosted by second hand cigarette smoke.  I  hope 
>the
>day will come when people will become angry when they see too much salt
>applied to roadways.
>
>We all must learn to think about the impacts of our expectations.   I hear 
>the
>radio news media on snowy days speak of the salt trucks and salt like it 
>was
>the cavalry coming to save the day.   These practices are being driven by
>unsustainable expectations.  Is it a reasonable expectation to be able to
>drive 80 miles per hour, 24 hours, 365 day per year?  If we had to slow 
>down
>every now and then until roadways were made safe, without plastering them
>salt, I suspect somehow we'd all make it.  Ironically, folks don't think 
>about
>being slowed down when they are stuck in a traffic jam in July because of
>salt induced bridge repairs costing millions of dollars.  Are people making
>the salt connection when they are searching for a  parking space because 
>their
>favorite parking structure or lot is being renovated, torn down, or 
>rebuilt?
>People that advocate salt use never want to mention these issues.  They 
>also
>forget that all that salt has to go somewhere and that means it ends up in
>lakes and wetlands where it may be seriously impacting these habitats, or 
>in
>soils where it damages plants ability to do what they do for us, or is in 
>our
>air where we and other living things breath it.
>
>This morning, March 5, 2001, as I drove east bound on M-14 around Ann Arbor 
>I
>was saddened by how much salt there was on the roads and in the rising dust
>clouds.  I wondered, had it snowed or had it salted?  It had done both; it
>seemed somewhere around a quarter of an inch.
>
>I urge you to write your state legislators to support this important piece 
>of
>legislation.  We can do it better.
>
>Hope this is in the spirit of this list serve.
>
>Mark Cornwell
>Holly Township, Planning Commissioner
>Oakland County
>
>
>
>
>
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sprawl, smart growth, and preservation of the quality of life in Washtenaw
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Postings to:  smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net      For info, send
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