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State updating 20-year transportation plan

December 11, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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The long-range transportation plan for Michigan is ready for public opinion.

As required by federal law, the Michigan Department of Transportation is requesting public feedback to help revise its long-range transportation plan, or SLRP.

The SLRP is a 20-year plan that is updated regularly as a framework for transportation investment in the state, and is required to receive funding.

The 2040 plan will mostly be a reaffirmation of the 2030 and 2035 plans first developed in 2004-07 and 2012, according to MDOT Senior Planner Bradley Sharlow.

Online webinars explaining the current plans, along with information, forecasts and strategies, are available at Michigan.gov/slrp. Public surveys also are available online until Feb. 29, 2016.

The plan will largely reaffirm the current plans because a reauthorization of the federal highway program could change the SLRP requirements, according to Sharlow.

The surveys are conducted regularly, Sharlow said, and are largely in agreement with the current plans, but adjustments are made regarding suggestions.

The updated SLRP likely will readopt the same vision, goals, objectives and strategies, along with a focus on Corridors of Highest Significance and the principles guiding program development.

There are 19 Corridors of Highest Significance, with 93.2 percent of the population living within 20 miles centered by a COHS, and 98.7 percent working in the same geographic area.

Among the goals, with objectives of integration, economic benefit and quality of life, are:

  • System Improvement: Modernize and enhance the transportation system to improve mobility and accessibility.
  • Efficient and Effective Operations: Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system and transportation services, and expand MDOT’s coordination and collaboration with partners.
  • Safety and Security: Continue to improve transportation safety and ensure the security of the transportation system
  • Stewardship: Preserve transportation system investments, protect the environment, and utilize public resources in a responsible manner.

The plans also take a deep look at the changing demographics of the state and look at a higher focus on public transportation and rail.

All public feedback will be considered as the plan is drafted during a 30-day comment period with public meetings following the open survey deadline of Feb. 29.

The final plan will be due in early May, with a plan adoption expected May 19.

Through April, MDOT will also hear from resource agency consultation, non-metro local officials, tribal consultation and freight consultation, along with ongoing internal coordination and communication.

“We’re trying to look at the best possible use of resources,” Sharlow said. “What’s best for the next generation?”

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