Climate Action Complete Streets

MDOT 5 Year Plan Comments

Below are our comments on the draft MDOT 2024-208 Five-Year Transportation Plan. You can submit your own comments before September 8th, 2023.

  • I-94 Modernization Project. We are critically disappointed that funding for this project has apparently been delayed by two decades. The Complete Streets/Multimodal portions of this project were highlighted in prior five-year plans, but with the new time frame, we see these as broken promises to reconnect the community. 
  • Hubbell Street bridge deck replacement over I-96. We would like to see this bridge cross section improved to better accommodate bicyclists with bike lanes, preferably grade-separated bike lanes. This segment of Hubbell is very popular for Detroit bicyclists since it is easier to cross I-96 at Hubbell since there are no interchange nor grade changes. The popularity of this route is shown on the Strava heatmap for bicyclists.
  • Virgil Street bridge deck replacement. This bridge should be also designed to better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, preferably with grade-separated bike lanes. This bridge provides a critical community connection across I-96 with  Eliza Howell Park to the north and Rouge Park on the south. City of Detroit plans envision this bridge carrying the Rouge River Greenway
  • Pedestrian Bridges. We like seeing the Vassar and Sawyer bridges being replaced as well as the addition of a Verne bridge over I-94. However, we want the Spruce bridge added to the plan as well. This is a critical community connection for North Corktown with no legal, direct, or viable alternative for bicyclists.
  • Fort Street (M-85) road rehabilitation from Rosa Parks to Griswold. We want this designed as a Complete Street. It provides a critical, direct connection between the Gordie Howe International Bridge and Downtown Detroit. 
  • US-12 and Gordie Howe International Bridge. We are glad to see these projects moving forward within this plan. We have led the non-motorized advocacy on these projects and look forward to celebrating their completion. 
  • Carbon Neutrality. We see no mention of MDOT plans to reduce GHG emissions and help make Michigan carbon neutral per the Governor’s commitment. In fact, the plan includes many major and minor widening projects that will induce higher VMT and increase GHG emissions.

At first glance, it appeared this five-year plan removed prior MDOT commitments for the Iron Belle Trail/Conner Creek Greenway bridge over I-94. After conversations with the City of Detroit and MDOT, we learned that it wasn’t removed. It was no longer individually identified and had been wrapped into another I-94 phase line item. This is confusing. We ask that MDOT consistently list projects for each five-year plan so the public can more accurately determine what changes exist or do not exist.

Policy Uncategorized

Take Action: Climate Recommendations

We asking Michigan residents to email the Michigan Council on Climate Solutions to make sure investments in biking, walking, and transit are a primary recommendation for reducing carbon emissions.

The draft recommendations (see below) do include these green travel modes, but they may not be included in the final plan. Hearing from us can make sure that they are included.

We’ve submitted our comments and have created an easy-to-sign (or edit) version of them. We’ve also created a Climate Change page for those wanting a deeper dive into this Council process and much more.

Reduce Michigan's carbon emissions through investments in walking, biking, and transit

Dear Michigan Council on Climate Solutions

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From the Michigan Council on Climate Solutions Transportation and Mobility Workgroup Recommendations:

Top 5 Prioritized Recommendations

  1. Michigan should establish a coordinated and comprehensive transportation electrification plan, supportive of national goals, and allocation of sufficient resources and personnel to responsible state offices to create the plan.
  2. Michigan should establish a consumer and fleet electric vehicle (EV) incentive program, including new and used EVs, to support a rapid and accelerated transition to EVs among the driving public.
  3. Michigan should adopt a clean fuels standard as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the state, and as a potential revenue source for enhancing low/no carbon mobility options to more Michiganders.
  4. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and regional and local road agencies, should develop plans for implementing GHG budgets into their transportation planning.
  5. MDOT, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO’s), and local transit providers should develop comprehensive plans to expand access to convenient, zero emission public transit throughout the state of Michigan, with a goal of increasing the state’s investment by an amount great enough to support the mobility needs of the state’s residents.

Additional Recommendations for Consideration

  1. Michigan should develop and implement a statewide plan that takes a Safe Systems Approach to reduce Vulnerable Road User (VRU) fatalities and serious injuries to zero in order to encourage more trips by bicycling and walking.
  2. MDOT and MPOs should adopt new policies to exclusively use CMAQ (federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program) funding for projects that decrease vehicle miles traveled (VMT), improve air quality and reduce GHG emissions. Projects that will likely increase VMT and don’t serve a public safety priority should no longer be eligible for CMAQ funding.
  3. Michigan should establish an alternative, VMT-based EV fee that is more in alignment with Michigan’s climate goals and recognizes the higher efficiency of electric vehicles.
  4. Michigan’s building codes should be updated to assist with EV adoption.
  5. Michigan should establish a certification program for dealers to recognize dealers that are educated on EVs and know how to sell and maintain them.
  6. Establish new policies to allow Plug-in Electric vehicles (BEVs, PHEV’s and FCEV’s) to use Michigan’s High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (HOV lanes) regardless of passenger occupancy.
  7. Michigan should signal its commitment to electrification by preparing to adopt a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards in the Advanced Clean Cars Program, as well as the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus (HDO) rules.
  8. The State of Michigan should establish EV procurement goals for state-owned and state-leased fleet vehicles including a broad, long-term plan as well as short-term targets to electrify a practical subset of the state fleet.