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SG-W:/ AATA Bus Routes



The following was sent by Ken Clark, but bounced to me.

----------------------

Ron and others,

The lack of bus service in Pittsfield comes down to
money.  Ann Arborites have a significant millage to
contribute to AATA.  The Chelsea and Dexter routes are
partially subsidized by Chelsea and Dexter.  AATA
attempts to cover as much area as possible with the
resources it has, but you have to recognize that bus
systems across the country have died trying to extend
service to areas where it wasn't fiscally sound.

Transportation planners certainly are aware of the
traffic problems in Pittsfield Twp.  Unfortunately,
their planned solutions are to widen roads.  In order
to increase bus service, either Pittsfield Twp would
have to pay up, or some kind of expansion would have
to show up in transportation plans.  If the second
method were chosen, AATA would still have to be
careful to choose routes with high enough housing
density to support the operating costs of the route.

Bike lanes are a slightly different story.  The County
transportation plan didn't include any bike lanes,
shared-use paths, or sidewalks, stating that the local
governments handle that.  Unfortunately, it's very
difficult for a local government to get federal
matching funds for bike lanes if the project isn't in
the County plan.  Pittsfield Twp could ask for
projects to be amended to the County plan, but this is
a cumbersome process that is rarely used for bike
projects, in part because they are so cheap to put in.
 

Another problem is that bicycle facility projects
weren't included in the County plan because local
governments didn't push for that.  Even in Ann Arbor,
staff and sometimes City Council ignores our Council
approved Bicycle Master Plan and the Mayor and Council
appointed Bicycle Coordinating Committee. You could
help the situation by calling up your township
officials and educating them on the value of providing
for cyclists. Most elected officials eventually come
around when they find out people are interested and
bike facilities can be cheap (and subsidized 80%) to
provide.

Ken Clark
kenclark@netrek.net






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