Following careful review of all 160 pages of MDOT’s draft Michigan Mobility 2045 long-range transportation plan and questioning at numerous public meetings, TRU submitted formal comments on the plan, including strengths, weaknesses, and areas that need improvement.
Thank you for the Michigan Mobility 2045 plan’s inspirational vision and guiding principles of a multimodal future with equitable mobility that is reliable and convenient for all users, regardless of age, income, race, or ability. It lays out a clear case for the need for and benefits of expanding and improving public transit, as public input has consistently called for.
Despite that, MM2045 provides no clear path or quantifiable objectives of how MDOT will bring about that equitable, multimodal future. In fact, the objectives appear to embrace more of the same narrow focus on road construction, when we need bold change in transportation policies and investments that align with all of your Guiding Principles.
Specifically, I strongly recommend that additional Performance Measures be added that quantify access to public transit (beyond rural access to intercity bus routes), access to safe walking and biking amenities, and reliability of public transit services and passenger rail service (detailed below in item 12).
Additionally, even as thousands of Michiganders toss out soggy memories lost to massive flooding this summer, MM2045 largely ignores the crisis of climate change and the fact the transportation is the single largest source. Despite Governor Whitmer explicitly telling State Department Directors in February of 2019 to work to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025” and Director Ajegba serving on the Council on Climate Solutions for the past seven months, MM2045 completely fails to provide a plan or path to develop a plan to address the climate crisis.
A plan for the next two decades of Michigan transportation MUST detail concrete actions MDOT will take to ensure transportation emissions substantively drop, both immediately and over the next two decades. You cannot stay neutral or only allude to the problem without providing a clear plan to help solve it.
I look forward to an updated MM2045 that includes explicit measures for expanding public transit and for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from Michigan transportation. Without those, the Michigan Transportation Commission should reject MM2045 as an incomplete plan that will not provide Michigan the multimodal mobility for all that its vision promises.
Detailed Comments on MM2045
MDOT has committed to review all comments before submitting the final plan to the State Transportation Commission to adopt at it’s October 21 meeting.