The Michigan Land Use Institute is pleased to submit the following comments to the TC-TALUS Board regarding the TC-TALUS Long-Range Plan.
Recently, TC-TALUS-this region’s transportation and land use planning body-released a memo that described the challenges with our road network’s ability to handle the traffic that travels between the east and west sides of the Grand Traverse region. The document is intended to help the TC-TALUS board prioritize major transportation projects for the region’s long-range transportation plan. Here are a few reactions.
Hundreds of people turned out last week to pepper local officials and employees of Enbridge, Inc. about the 60-year-old oil pipeline running under the Mackinac Straits. They wanted to know what’s being done to prevent underwater leaks, and how a rupture would be contained before it gravely damaged one of Michigan’s most beautiful places. By the end of the meeting it was clear that opponents had more questions than Enbridge managed to answer.
We also know we can’t build our way out of congestion. No city in the world has ever done this, and Traverse City will not be the first. But what we can do is this: Manage regional traffic and reduce in-town, peak-hour commuter traffic. We’ll explore these proposals in detail in an upcoming blog post series titled Five Ways to Beat Traffic in TC.
Traffic problems take on new urgency during Traverse City’s busy season as too much congestion hampers business growth, wastes fuel, and hurts this area’s quality of life. But local leaders need to fix our existing transportation network first before pursuing an expensive, ill-conceived, short-term remedy like a new Hartman-Hammond bridge.
Organizers are rallying at Bridge View Park in St. Ignace to warn that there’s a 60-year-old oil pipeline beneath the Straits, operated by the same company responsible for the Kalamazoo pipeline oil spill, and that it’s putting the Great Lakes ecosystem at serious risk.