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Posts from the ‘transportation’ Category

Friday linkaround: Big week for cyclists and the DNR finds a lost toddler!

Good Friday everyone! Here are some items of interest from the week that’s drawing to a close:

It was a big week for our friends at the League of Michigan Bicyclists, with two legislative victories: House passage of revised right-turn signals and vulnerable roadway user legislation.

The state released this draft report last week on its findings regarding customer choice in the electric utility market. The report stays scrupulously neutral on the question of whether to expand competitive choice beyond the current 10% cap….perhaps indicating the governor will not be proposing significant changes to the program. More explanation on the choice cap is here (PDF)

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Today’s impromptu effort to change a little bitty corner of the world

Dear Dean Transportation:

Today (May 8th) there are about one-dozen Dean charter buses parked on Pere Marquette Street in Lansing (possibly related to Mitt Romney’s Lansing speech?) These buses have been idling for more than an hour with no occupants. It seems a tremendous waste of fuel, an unnecessary release of pollutants, and increases in carbon monoxide and other unhealthy byproducts that drift into the businesses, offices (mine included) and pedestrians along the street.

If Dean has no idling policy, it might be a worthwhile endeavor — both from a business/cost perspective and a good neighbor perspective.

Thank you for your time

Hugh McDiarmid Jr.

(We’ll share any response from Dean in a future update. As an aside, many other states have idling laws. Michigan does not.)

DTW shuttle: Too convenient?

Check out this pitiful example of how to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Lansing airport officials, abetted by community leaders and elected officials, scuttled a plan to improve Michigan Flyer bus service to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. They falsely believed that if it is too convenient, it might take passengers away from Lansing.  The truth is, bus service to Detroit Metro has been successful because it provides a needed service for folks going there anyway. Lansing residents, in comments taken as part of a regional visioning process, want the service.

We pointed much of this out to decision makers in an analysis that is available Page 40 of this PDF. But none of that mattered. Nor, apparently, did it matter that the Flyer service takes cars off the road – reducing congestion, lessening pollution, reducing fuel consumption and saving Michiganders’ money.

Until our leaders truly understand that we sink and swim together we will not thrive. Blocking convenient options for Detroit-bound Lansingites is not an economic strategy. It is short-sighted. And an example of why Michigan’s oft-parochial worldview tends to keep us from moving forward together.