Monday, July 11, 2016

Map: New Detroit Regional Master Transit Plan 2016

New bus route map for greater Detroit area It's still (looking at this map) a shockingly sparse transit grid in the suburbs. I'm guessing that no more need to transfer between systems going between city and suburbs is the -only- real change, plus maybe more frequent runs on some lines. Still looks like the Woodward corridor is the only part of suburbia with a meaningful level of mass transit (and bike lanes, and walkable retail districts, and all the other cool kid stuff). That, and the infamous "opt out" community of Livonia is still a conspicuous gaping hole in the grid, save that gray north-south line (what, Farmington Road, I'm guessing?). Part of the problem, no doubt, is because feasibility of mass transit and feasibility of high-density development are mutual prerequisites, so there's a bootstrap problem for converting a whole metropolis from car-dependent to mass-transit-feasible. I worry about that, because extrapolating current trends, "suburban ghetto" is probably going to be a real thing at some point in the 21st century. Getting a unified system is an important baby step that is probably necessary before taking the 5,279,999 additional steps needed to become a real city with real transportation options. Hopefully at some point Michigan politics will evolve to the point where the mass transit issue can be framed as something other than an almost charitable gesture from society to the "deserving carless" such as the elderly, differently abled, students, etc. I don't see the yes campaign for the upcoming ballot proposals playing that gambit (transit as menu item other than car); instead they seem to be opting for pulling the usual voter heartstrings for deserving-carless ("walking man") narratives, or else appeals to business case for higher level of workforce utilization. Since I'm assuming the people running the campaign have researched the opinion climate and therefore know what they're doing, I'm still a bit pessimistic.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The underwater pipeline that could break the Great Lakes

theweek : "According to the company's own reports, Enbridge has been responsible for more than 800 oil spills across North America since 2000.

That sticky trail of spews and spills leads us to the present, and to the latest of Enbridge's controversial pipelines. This one, known as Line 5, includes a pair of metal tubes that run through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, underwater across a wild, weather-beaten portion of the Great Lakes, and into the state's more populous lower region. A portion of the pipeline sits on the bottom of our country's most important fresh water resource, along a pristine and economically precious stretch called the Straits of Mackinac. It carries up to 20 million gallons of crude oil and gas every day."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Motor City Freedom Riders, "Transportation is Freedom"

Must Support a Strong Regional Transit Plan: "With the exception of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA), all of the region’s bus systems have drastically reduced service over the past decade – not for lack of need, but in consequence of limited available revenues (see above). We believe a regional transit plan should reserve half of all new regional transit revenues for the existing bus systems, including DDOT, SMART­­­­, and AAATA. As the RTA’s “State of the System” report indicates, not only is existing local bus service limited in its coverage area, but only a handful of bus routes – primarily those on major roads such as Woodward, Gratiot, and Grand River – provide the frequent service necessary for convenient transit access. We must not only enhance those routes, but expand crosstown service as well."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Washtenaw County, Michigan, expanding #publictransit

WEMU: " On May 1st, the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority (AAATA) is planning to more than double the number of routes in eastern Washtenaw County, including doubling the number of Ypsilanti bus routes and increasing frequency. This is the largest expansion of bus services in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area since 1979."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Study: Potential oil spill threatens 700 miles of Michigan coast

WZZM13.com: "If Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge's twin, 62-year-old underwater pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac were to burst, areas from Harbor Springs on the Lake Michigan side down to Saginaw Bay and the Thumb area on the Lake Huron side could be affected by the escaping oil, the latest computer modeling research shows."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Autosprawl trolls still blocking common-sense #publictransit in SE Michigan

OaklandPress: "“This is our best shot in generations,” he said. “A piecemeal approach to public transit doesn’t work.

“The Lansing and Grand Rapids areas, they cracked this nut long ago and it’s holding us back.”

Woodward and other county Democrats have criticized Patterson for touting the planned reconstruction and widening of I-75 beginning this summer, rather than working with the state to instead steer funds to public transportation."

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Emmet County, Michigan -- people willing to pay more tax for more #publictransit, even if only others will use it

Petoskey News-Review: Opinion: "It is heartening to observe during this holiday season that there are many people in our community who really seem to care about the needs of others. A new opinion survey of public attitudes in Emmet County indicates strong support for a public transportation system among people who are not likely to use it themselves.
The survey asked this question: “Do you believe that the issue of funding an expanded public transportation system in Emmet County should be put to a vote of the public?”
Of those expressing an opinion, 78 percent responded either “definitely yes” or “probably yes.” Two-thirds of those with an opinion said they would be willing to see their property taxes go up by a small amount to fund the system, suggesting they would vote yes if given the chance."