MDOT’s Long Range Transportation Plan

MARP is an invited participant in the development of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Long Range Transportation Plan through the year 2030. Chairman Mike Whims represents MARP at the stakeholder meetings. Clark Charnetski also attended an open house held recently in Ann Arbor.

A draft “Preferred Public Vision” has been published by MDOT that considers intercity passenger rail to be “important” and focuses on high-speed (200mph+) rail for the future. Chairman Whims testified at the meetings that the future plan needs to:

  • Focus more on “standard speed” intercity passenger rail that can at a minimum consistantly meet the current 79 mph speed limit without freight interference.
  • Consider “high-speed” rail as a goal to carefully work toward for certain high-volume corridors after solving the freight interference problems. A fear Whims expressed is that the price tag for 200+ mph rail service will frighten everyone away from ANY passenger rail.
  • Focus on increasing the share of freight movement by rail as a top public priority that will require public investment of some sort in the state’s privately-owned rail infrastructure.
  • Analyze the state’s 50,000-mile state highway system to see how many miles can be abandoned or transferred to local road authorities based on low relative usage. (this was very unpopular among the meeting stakeholders).

You are encouraged to voice your opinions at the state website that has been set up for this long range plan:

You are also encouraged to attend and represent MARP at the following upcoming public open house meetings (details at their website)
August 7-Novi
August 7-Kalamazoo
August 8- Warren
August 8- Grand Rapids
August 9- Lansing
August 9- Ann Arbor
August 14- Mount Pleasant
August 15- Tawas City
August 15- Kingsford
August 16- Traverse City
August 16- Ironwood
August 17- St. Ignace