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Re: SG-W:/ House Paves the Way to Smoother Roads
- Subject: Re: SG-W:/ House Paves the Way to Smoother Roads
- From: "James C. Shaeffer" <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 09:48:41 -0500
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
What about the use of native prairie grasses incorporated into the backslopes of
existing and new road corridors?
Any idea how many millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man hours and
gallons of fuel are spent on our manicured roadsides, when all of these acres
could be planted to native vegitation that would need no mowing?
Native Prairie Restorations
3985 Research Park Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: 800-298-9987 or 734-741-9987
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: SG-W:/ House Paves the Way to Smoother Roads
Author: "Conan Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org> at InternetGateway
Date: 12/14/01 12:12 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Conan Smith
Friday, December 14, 2001
Land Programs Director
House Paves Way for Better Roads
Enviro?s, Roadbuilders Unite for a Smoother System
LANSING ? On unanimous votes, the Michigan House of Representatives Thursday
passed two measures that will help direct state road money to the most needy
transportation corridors. The measures were recommended by a Gubernatorial
study committee and supported by both environmentalists and industry
House Bill 5383 creates a uniform definition of road maintenance that
excludes new construction activities ? current law enables the state to spend
pothole dollars on road widening. House Bill 5393 implements a statewide
asset management strategy, which will help the Michigan Department of
Transportation (MDOT) invest its $3 billion budget in the creation of
better-maintained and more holistic system.
?MDOT is in sore need of better direction,? said Conan Smith, Land Programs
Director at the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC). ?Michigan has one of
the most unsustainable transportation systems in the country. These bills
will help us reprioritize our spending in ways that are both cost-efficient
and effective for Michigan motorists and transit riders.?
Environmentalist began advocating for changes to the maintenance definition
three years ago when it came to light that more than half of Michigan?s
roads had a life expectancy of less than seven years. Research by MEC
revealed that road maintenance was among the lowest of MDOT?s priorities.
?Any driver in southeast Michigan can tell you what a disaster the highways
are,? Smith said. ?For years we built new and wider highways while we let
the ones we already had crumble around us.?
Road agencies across the state must use the new definitions and report
annual investment figures to the Legislature. The definitions create clear
distinctions between reactive or routine maintenance activities ? like snow
removal and pothole patching ? and ?preservation? activities such as
widening a road to accommodate new traffic.
Environmentalists believe that the new asset management system will help
move maintenance and transit investments to their rightful place at the
forefront of Michigan?s spending priorities.
?This is a dollars and sense issue,? Smith said. ?Road investment decisions
today are made without the right data to assure the sustainability of our
transportation system as a whole.?
HB5386 creates a council made up of local government representatives and
charged with developing a process for addressing data collection, training
and planning issues. The asset management council will apparently evaluate
only road building and maintenance issues.
?Transit representation is blatantly excluded,? lamented Smith. ?Any reform
that doesn?t envision a system of 18-lane double-decker highways has got to
take transit into account.?
Although supportive of the House proposals, MEC will work to improve the
language as it moves through the Michigan Senate.
Land Programs Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
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