Public Comment Summary from Long Range Plan kick-off meeting

Public comments were collected at the January 14th WATS Long Range Plan Meeting. WATS solicited comments on each of the six types of deficiencies for which maps were displayed at the meeting. This blog has also provided an opportuinity for comment on each of the six types of deficiencies. The comments received at the meeting have been summarized and are included below.

Congestion is bad and continues to get worse, which will require a change in people’s behaviors. However, it is possible that the model congestion data could be off (despite people actually experiencing congestion). US-23 and North Territorial represents a multifaceted deficiency (congestion, safety and bridge). Paving unpaved roads will provide alternatives to congested routes. Some very congested areas, such as Arborland, have too many traffic lights. Many of the congestion deficiencies are concentrated only at rush hour.

1) Recommend staggered start times
2) Add vectors/factors to map so folks can add their own data
3) US-23 and North Territorial
4) North Territorial and Dexter-Pinckney: Traffic actuated lights, left turn lights. An interchange at Dancer Rd and I-94 would improve traffic flow in and around Dexter.
5) Pave Sutton Rd. north of North Territorial to provide a paved alternative to US-23 between Ann Arbor and Whitmore Lake – Bemis to Rawsonville
6) Geddes over US-23 has significant issues, east from US-23
7) Washtenaw Ave has issues various times of day

Safety, congestion and bridges are more interactive than other categories. An example is issues at US-23 and North Territorial. Some roads are unsafe due to a lack of maintenance on pavement, ditches and right-of-ways, as well as the increasing deer population. Stripe bike lanes on routes used for bike travel. Improvements in all of the other deficiencies will help improve safety. A lack of street lights is a hazard for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in urban areas.

1) Scale confusing, label fields from highest to lowest
2) Clear ditches for drainage, maintain scrub free right of ways and traffic calming devices
3) Stripe bike lanes on Plymouth between Upland and Moore
4) Publish safety tips in Ann Arbor News
5) Add more street lights, especially in urban areas

Structurally Deficient bridges should be fixed first, if the meet a pre-set threshold of usage. Another view would is that environmental impacts should be the primary consideration in prioritizing bridgework (and other “interactions”). Pedestrian crossings on bridges, particularly at expressways should be considered. Bridges work should be done before they develop holes in the pavement.

1) Prioritize based on Structurally Deficient, then set usage criteria
2) Look at US-23 and North Territorial.
3) Bridge from Island Lake Rd into Dexter Village should be looked at
4) Encourage funds for bridge replacement

Transit should aim to provide “fare equity for residents”. Baby boomers will be major transit issue over next 30 years, and will need to consider base access to/from major nodes. Smaller providers such as WWAVE will be important in getting people from their homes to bus stops. Planning should include specific proposals to support transit-oriented-development, which will “drive the kind of change Michigan needs” (see golden spike). Maintain and improve bus service, as well as keep rail projects moving forward with Ypsilanti stop. Transit service should connect entire County. UM paying for staff/faculty/student rides has been very successful.

1) Remember Toyota in York Twp
2) Expand parking at Ann Arbor Amtrak station
3) Light rail along south side of Plymouth Rd between US-23 and Murfin/Upland, then thru north campus, medical center, central campus and downtown
4) Concentrate transit planning to connect Ann Arbor with Metro Airport and Detroit
5) Bus loop around city, without going downtown
6) Consider expanding routes on Huron, Washtenaw and Plymouth

Bike lanes should be priority as those not using a car or bus are more vulnerable. Don’t forget gravel roads. Improve rural roads in a way that preserved beauty and rural character, as well as utilizing construction and maintenance standards in connection with rural roads that respect existing topography and natural features. Repair and maintenance will also help preserve vehicles. So many roads in the county are bad, a warranty from contractor should be considered.

1) Bike lanes first
2) Complete 7 Mile Rd
3) Oppose WCRS’s “excessive and unnecessary” Right of Way Plan
4) Do a better job cleaning on-street bike lanes
5) Pave bike and ped paths in Barton Park (currently wood chips)
6) Division, Packard near Madison, Geddes of US-23

Build a network with B2B as spine. Good for environment, good for healthy, double value at one tenth of cost. Consider wider shoulders along major paved roads, and keep focus on the border-to-border trail. Increase amount of bike paths and improve existing paths, as well as focusing on connecting bike paths through the county. Pedestrians need encouragement via: signs, maps, easy access and adequate parking.

1) Pave shoulder on Werkner in Lyndon Twp
2) Need more freeway crossings
3) Add bike and ped paths around Whitmore Lake
4) Grade separated rail crossings in Ann Arbor at Arb, UM medical center, north Main St and Huron River Dr needed
5) Ped and bike route using unbuilt part of Huron Pkwy from Traver Rd to Whitmore Lake Rd
6) Ford Blvd bridge over Michigan Ave