Several important updates for you, Supporter, regarding I-94 expansion, state funding battles, and influencing the RTA's transit plan:
Tell MDOT to Fix I-94 but NOT Widen It
Should I-94 cut an even wider swath through the middle of Detroit? Or should we improve connectivity?
Should Michigan spend $2 billion expanding I-94? Or should repairing roads and transit be prioritized?
Share your thoughts at a series of MDOT Public Meetings on I-94 Expansion
For 20 years, MDOT has been planning to overhaul and widen I-94 through midtown and the east side of Detroit and redesign interchanges with I-96, M-10, and I-75. This project will cost $1.9 billion and take 20 years to complete. An estimated 34 buildings and 11 pedestrian crossings over I-94 would be torn down to make room for the wider roadway.
Come share your opinions:
Come to any of these meetings to share your opinions with MDOT. And please help spread the word!
- TOMORROW Tuesday, July 14, from 9 – 11 a.m. and from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Barth Hall), 4800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Thursday, July 16, from 2 – 4 p.m. and from 6 – 8 p.m.
- Wayne County Community College – Eastern Campus, 5901 Conner Ave., Detroit
TRU’s position: Changes Needed to the I-94 Project
We at TRU have no argument with reconstructing I-94 and replacing the decrepit bridges over it. But we join many others in having serious concerns about the scope and cost of the project and have recommended these changes:
- No Expansion – There’s no need for additional travel lanes and service drives, especially at a cost of $400 million and local connectivity.
- Maintain (and Improve!) Walkability - MDOT should NOT remove 11 bridges over I-94, as currently proposed. People’s ability to cross over I-94 should not be decreased.
- Preserve Urban Fabric and Historic Buildings - MDOT should NOT tear down the 34 buildings as proposed, especially historic structures like the United Sound building.
- Fully Evaluate Impacts and Alternatives - MDOT needs to complete a “Supplemental EIS” and should fully evaluate a commuter train and bus rapid transit to alleviate peak traffic on I-94.
To learn more about the proposed project:
State Debate on Transportation Funding Continues
Thanks so much to everyone who contacted legislators in the past few weeks about the need for full fair transportation funding!
Following the Michigan House’s passage of an awful road funding package that ignores transit and guts other budget priorities, the Michigan Senate passed a somewhat better alternative.
The Senate bill would provide much-needed new funding to repair our roads, bridges AND transit by raising the gas tax 15-cents over three years. However it also takes money from other unspecified parts of the state budget and allocates those revenues to roads-only, excluding transit, trails, ports, and other transportation needs.
Next, the House and Senate need to come to compromise.
Please urge the Governor and Legislative Leaders to improve on the Senate version and oppose the House version! The final package must provide sufficient new funding for the entire transportation system, without gutting other budget priorities!
Stay tuned for more!
Help Engage the Region in Creating a Great Transit Plan!
The Regional Transit Authority is developing a regional transit plan that will shape transit improvements in the next year, 2 years, 5 years and 20 years.
To develop a great plan, they need input from people all throughout the region.
To help them engage the breadth of the region, we need your help!!
1) Share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with the RTA yourself! You can comment directly to the RTA, join the discussion on MySidewalk, or complete a comment card at a community event.
2) Mobilize your friends and family to comment to the RTA! Your neighbors, co-workers, church or others - reach out to anyone you know who lives, works, or plays in southeast Michigan!
3) Volunteer with TRU at fairs, festivals, and other community events! Join TRU staff at an upcoming event or you can go on your own. We'll provide the information and materials you'll need. Contact Ruth to learn how.
We've even launched a friendly contest to encourage greater participation and engagement! This contest will last from June 15 – September 15 and you can report all your great engagement quickly and easily at www.DetroitTransit.org/contest.
Our first contest winner is Dave from Sterling Heights!
Dave joined Ruth at the Mt. Clemens fireworks, talked with lots of people and collected 10 comments. Dave also engaged his family members and his wife's co-workers. Her fellow employees had even more to say, so they emailed additional comments! (TRU will forward the cards and emails to the RTA.) Thank you Dave for taking time and effort to encourage others to have their voices heard in transit planning. For your efforts, you'll receive a sturdy yet lightweight Case-Logic laptop case.
PS - You are subscribed to Transportation Riders United's email list. TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, working since 1999 to improve bus service, remove barriers to rapid transit, and advocate for smart transportation investments
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