Posts Tagged ‘Canton’

Feds fail to fund Detroit’s inspired TIGER project

Friday, December 16th, 2011

[Disclaimer: I provided assistance to the city of Detroit on this TIGER grant application.]

It wasn’t a good week in Detroit for transportation news.

First came the light rail decision, and now this. The U.S. DOT did not select Detroit’s TIGER III grant.

There were 828 application and only 46 were selected. The odds weren’t good but Detroit’s $20 million grant request was first-class.

It was called Link Detroit, a Multi-model enhancement plan and a copy of it is available on the city’s web site.

The listed project benefits were:

  • Implements a $25 million infrastructure project that includes bridge replacements, streetscapes, on and off road non-motorized greenways ($20 million DOT grant, $5.8 million local match)
  • Links Detroit’s core investments such as the Riverfront Conservancy and adjacent downtown central businesses through the Dequindre Cut and Midtown Loop greenways to the Eastern Market, Midtown and Hamtramck
  • Intersects major transportation routes including auto, bus, and the planned Woodward Light Rail, enabling multi modal options from anywhere in the region
  • Enhances non-motorized and multi-modal connections to:
    • Jobs (downtown and midtown anchors, locally owned commercial/professional services, start up establishments, hotels and restaurants, eastern market district)
    • Educational institutions (Wayne State)
    • Cultural institutions (DIA, MOCAD, DSO, theatres)
    • Recreational opportunities (Milliken State Park, numerous city parks, marinas)
    • Famers market (Eastern Market)
    • Neighborhoods (Midtown, Hamtramck, East Villages)
  • Leverages significant investments already made in the transportation infrastructure (Campus Martius, Detroit RiverWalk, Woodward Light Rail, Dequindre Cut Greenway, Midtown Loop Greenway, Hamtramck Greenway) and real estate development (Downtown, Midtown, Eastern Market)
  • Provides 289 direct near term jobs, and up to 16,000 long term jobs, assuming the residential and commercial fill in development typically stimulated by this kind of investment

Can Detroit just reapply for TIGER IV? That’s uncertain.

Congress has asked that TIGER “focus on road, transit, rail and port projects.” One source says it’s not a ban on bike-ped oriented projects, but that future focus doesn’t help Link Detroit.

In addition, some of the matching funds will likely be spent before the next TIGER round, and therefore will become ineligible.

Detroit had received $25 million in the first round of TIGER grants. That money was to be spent on the Woodward light rail and will now be applied towards planning bus rapid transit. We don’t know what role this previous award and the city’s current financial situation had in this grant request cycle.

No Dequindre Cut Extension?

This does not stop the planned Dequindre Cut extension. The city has a purchase agreement for the private property from Gratiot to Mack and is now doing due diligence. The funding is there to keep moving this project forward.

Eventually the Midtown and Hamtramck connections will be built once the needed funding is found. TIGER III would have put these critical projects on the front burner.

Other Michigan TIGER grants

The only successful TIGER III grant was for $3.6 million to rebuild 2.6 miles of road in St. Clair County which “provides essential access to the County’s only landfill facility.” Yeah, that stinks.

That said, we’re not surprised the MDOT/Canton TIGER request was rejected. This was a $22 million project to improve the IKEA exit on I-275.

The required grant section on Livability appears to have been written in the 1980s or earlier. One claimed project benefit is it will improve the quality of life by having “a safer operational and connected network to and from the surrounding community and the freeway network.” That and they won’t remove the existing bike path.

The grant’s section on Alternative Transportation and Sustainable Development says, Canton is “committed to promoting sustainable development opportunities and alternative transportation options for residents.” Canton opted out of SMART. You cannot take the SMART bus to the IKEA store.

If anything, this is an example of why transportation in Michigan is not a sustainable model. We let a major traffic generator locate in an area which lacks the existing transportation infrastructure to handle it. And now Canton (and MDOT) want taxpayers to fix their $22 million mistake.

IKEA even mentioned in their support letter for this grant that “when IKEA was considering potential locations for our Michigan store, we had strong concerns about the interchange.”

But to be fair, there are other costly expressway exit examples, from the Chrysler headquarters to the Great Lakes Crossing at Baldwin. We have a history of funding mistakes.

The bottom line is Michigan can’t afford to keep ignoring the obvious relationship between land use and transportation.



Another I-275 Metro Trail open house

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

From MDOT:

I-275 Metro Trail (from Hines Drive to Michigan Avenue)

Public Open House

April 20, 2010 from?6 – 8 p.m

Fellows Creek Golf Club

2936 Lotz Road, Canton, MI 48188

The Michigan Department of Transportation and project team staff will host an open house to provide an overview of the project scope and boundaries of this approximately 7-mile section of the I-275 Metro Trail. This section is planned for reconstruction beginning this spring. This is the last open house planned prior to construction. There will be an opportunity to review the final design selections prior to construction.

For more information, please contact:

I-275 bike path construction open house

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

mdotFrom MDOT:

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting an open house-style meeting to provide an overview on the upcoming construction work on the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. The project includes reconstruction of the bike path between US-12 (Michigan Avenue) and Edward Hines Drive. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn details and provide feedback regarding this project.

Scheduled to begin this spring 2010, MDOT will reconstruct approximately 7 miles of the Metro Trail, rehabilitate pedestrian bridges, install signals at certain intersections and upgrade signs.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 6-8p.m.

WHERE: Canton Township Administrative Building, Freedom Room, 1150 Canton Center Road, Canton
(Special accommodations: 734-394-5100)

You can optionally RSVP for this event on Facebook.

I-275 Bike Path Construction Open House

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

mdotMark your calendars. MDOT is holding an I-275 bike path construction open house from 6 PM until 8 PM on Thursday, August 13th. The open house will be held at Fellows Creek Golf Club (2936 South Lotz Road) in Canton.

This meeting is “to discuss upcoming construction work on the I-275 bike path in Wayne County. The project includes reconstruction of the path between US-12 (Michigan Avenue) and Edward Hines Drive. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn details regarding the project.”

Also, “Scheduled to begin in fall 2009, MDOT will reconstruct the bike path, rehabilitate pedestrian bridges, install signals at certain intersections and upgrade signs.”

Economic Stimulus + Biking in Michigan

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The differing House and Senate versions of the stimulus bill were resolved yesterday. It’s expected that the new bill will be voted on today and signed by the President on Monday.

This final bill allocates $29 billion in transportation funding. That’s about how much the federal government allocates during a normal year. How much of that goes to Michigan and how much could be spent on non-motorized facilities is apparently unknown as of now.

We do know that the MDOT Metro Region put reconstruction of the entire I-275 bikepath on their stimulus project list. How huge would that be?

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and other advocates have been working with the City of Detroit to get non-motorized projects in the city’s stimulus list. Dan Cherrin, Mayor Cockrel’s spokesman told the the Michigan Messenger that the city wants to see “bike paths” built with stimulus money. Bike paths could include many of Detroit’s greenway projects as well as the non-motorized plan’s 400-mile bike lane network.

There are also other local bike and trail related projects in the stimulus wish list compiled by the Michigan Municipal League:

  • Birmingham – Completion of a renovation of partially existing trail network, $2 million
  • Canton – Construction of five pedestrian bridges over the Rouge River providing interconnection of community pathway, $700,000
  • Madison Heights – Red Oaks Bikepath, $600,000
  • Novi – Improvement of I-275 non-motorized pathway from I696 to Wayne Co, $ 467,000
  • Novi – New bike path along M-5 from south of 12 Mile Rd to Pontiac Trail, $ 1,250,000
  • Rochester – Paint Creek Trail, $ 300,000
  • Royal Oak – Non-Motorized Tranportation Plan, $40,000

What’s not clear is how Novi’s two requests fit with MDOT’s for the I-275 bikepath.

We should know more about what gets funded as this process continues to lumber along.