Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Things that make you go hmmmm: Proposed road widenings in Detroit?

In the words of another classic from the late 80s: "I take two steps forward, I take two steps back" ("Opposites Attract" sung duet-style - Paula Abdul & a cartoon cat. How weird was that video, btw?)

We made serious progress last year in passing the RTA. Awesome. That's two HUGE steps forward.

And now, as SEMCOG is proposing $2.7B (yes, that's a B) to expand our roads and highways over the next 15 years. Two steps BACK, perhaps?

I am sure there are some legitimate road projects in this plan - especially those around fixing our already crumbling roads. And as someone that finds traffic to be the most consistent and yet I'm-totally-at-it's-mercy frustration in my life, one would think that I would support wider roads. However, studies have shown that if more roads are built, more cars will fill the roads. Simply stated, 'roads cause traffic'. The study also says that 'transit expansion' doesn't help congestion or travel times either, which I thought was interesting and worth noting. Ok, I can actually see that. It takes me longer to bus/bike than it does to drive/park, but oh lord, my sanity. There is NO price that I can put on my sanity, the health boost I get from riding my bike or the joy obtained by the amazing people/stories we come across (oh yeah - or this blog wouldn't exist. TRAVESTY.). Transit wins! 

Here's a great blog post and explanation to the study: 

SO. Back to Michigan. 
Ugh, wider roads again? What can I do about this?

Luckily, our friends at Transportation Riders United have put together some actions this week: 

Come to the SEMCOG Meeting this week Thursday and speak up during public comment before they vote on the new plan (2W4W is working to shift some schedule conflicts to make it): 

If you aren't able to make it on Thursday, please speak out online: 

Together, we can work to make sure we continue to take two steps forward as a region! We should not accept our fate as described by Paula Abdul and that cartoon cat dancing up and down some stairs. Seriously, whose idea was that video?