Congratulations to MDOT’s Greg Johnson

Al Fields (DTE) and Greg Johnson (MDOT)

Al Fields (DTE) and Greg Johnson (MDOT)

Many years ago we often heard cyclists level complaints against MDOT for the lack of safe road accomodations in Metro Detroit. At the time, they were right, that is until Greg Johnson became head of the MDOT Metro Region.

Greg went on to create an MDOT Metro Region Non-Motorized Committee. It was at an early meeting that he mentioned the need for our road networks to let cyclists get where they need to go anywhere within the Metro Region (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and St. Clair counties.)

Perhaps the biggest change Greg made was having MDOT take back responsibility for the I-275 bike path. After languishing without maintenance for 30 years, the bike path is getting repaired section by section. Money was spent to develop a plan on how to repair it, re-open the connection to Monroe County, and properly maintain it. Money is allocated to extend it north to Pontiac Trail.

Another huge change that is a little less evident is the MDOT Metro region’s trail bridge policy. When trails needed to build bridges over MDOT roads, there was always the question of who would maintain the bridge. Local governments often lacked the resources to even handle the inspections. Greg set the region policy where MDOT took responsibility for these bridges. This certainly helped trail bridge projects like the new Macomb Orchard Trail’s over M-53 and planned bridges like the Clinton River Trail’s over Telegraph.

And we can’t forget MDOT’s committment to bike lanes on future road projects involving Michigan Avenue and Fort Street in Detroit. Greg played a big role in making those happen.

And one final positive change. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy received a $29 million earmark from Senator Carl Levin. Since earmarks require recipients to jump to additional (and often unfamiliar) hoops, Greg committed MDOT to designing and managing the construction of new Riverwalk segments.

So even though Greg is leaving the top position at MDOT’s Metro Region, he’s not leaving MDOT. He’s moving up. Greg has accepted the position of MDOT Chief Operations Officer. And while he expects to maintain his interest in many of the projects listed above, he also hopes to spread the Metro Region’s non-motorized transportation message at the higher levels in Lansing.

Best of luck to you Greg!

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