transportation http://michiganradio.org en Seven mile stretch of I-96 will be completely closed starting tomorrow http://michiganradio.org/post/seven-mile-stretch-i-96-will-be-completely-closed-starting-tomorrow <p>Construction crews will soon start working on the long stretch of highway east of I-275 that connects Detroit with outlying areas. Officials say the highway will be closed for six months. The project was originally scheduled to get underway in January, but weather delayed the start.</p><p>The freeway will be closed starting tomorrow at 7 a.m. Ramps will begin to close tonight starting at 7 p.m.</p><p>Transportation officials have put together a <a href="http://www.96fix.com/">website </a>to inform motorists, and they have been counting down the days on their Twitter handle:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Da Da Da Daaaaaaa!!! .... 1 DAY TO CLOSURE: No more needs to be said. Review information on this page and... <a href="http://t.co/7grzwtF6Qb">http://t.co/7grzwtF6Qb</a></p>— 96fix (@96Fix) <a href="https://twitter.com/96Fix/statuses/452086606371909632">April 4, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><span style="background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5;">More about the $148 million project from their website:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reconstructing a 7-mile stretch of I-96 from Newburgh Road in the city of Livonia to Telegraph Road in Redford Township. It will require complete closure of the interstate ... Work includes reconstructing the road and repairing 37 bridges, including on and off ramps. The project will bring the corridor to current design standards and improve safety. Clearances at the 37 bridges/overpasses also will be increased to improve safety.</span></p></blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Go <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/map-will-show-you-where-michigans-big-road-construction-projects-will-be">here </a>for more information about other major construction projects around the state.</span></p><p><em>*A previous post reflected the estimated closure time listed on MDOT's website - 7-12 months. An&nbsp;MDOT&nbsp;official said they expect the highway to be closed 6 months. The post is now updated.</em></p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:25:23 +0000 Mark Brush 17102 at http://michiganradio.org Seven mile stretch of I-96 will be completely closed starting tomorrow Michigan lawmakers preparing a small patch for our roads http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-preparing-small-patch-our-roads <p>Despite appearances, those who make our laws sometimes do listen to those who elect them. Here’s one example happening right now. Anyone who drives knows that our roads are in terrible shape.</p><p>Nobody remembers them ever being this bad, especially in major urban areas. But the Legislature has stubbornly ignored appeals from Gov. Rick Snyder to fix them.</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:44:13 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 16823 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers preparing a small patch for our roads Michigan legislators pondering speed limit increase http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-legislators-pondering-speed-limit-increase <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What matters more to you: Being able to drive faster, or being able to walk or ride your bike without dodging a speeding car?</span></p><p>That's how the battle lines are forming over a package of bills soon to be introduced in the state Legislature. It would allow the state to give drivers more leeway to put the pedal to the metal.</p><p>Tim Fischer is with the Transportation for Michigan coalition and the Michigan Environmental Council and he joined us today.</p><p><em>*Listen to our interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 22:27:15 +0000 Stateside Staff 16693 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan legislators pondering speed limit increase The people working to grow the biking culture in Flint and Marquette http://michiganradio.org/post/people-working-grow-biking-culture-flint-and-marquette <p>Cities like Ann Arbor, Portland, and Seattle are known for promoting biking in their cities, but biking hasn't found much of a foothold in many traditional Rust Belt cities.</p><p>Some people are trying to change that. Issue Media Group has two pieces profiling those people.</p><p>In their publication Mid-Michigan Second Wave, <a href="http://midmichigan.secondwavemedia.com/features/bikingmid21814.aspx">writer Kelli Kavanaugh&nbsp;looks at this trend in Flint</a>. Kavanaugh&nbsp;spoke with Flint native Andy Stamps who founded the Berston Bicycle Club Project.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 19:13:36 +0000 Mark Brush 16614 at http://michiganradio.org The people working to grow the biking culture in Flint and Marquette Are more of us making do without a car or truck? http://michiganradio.org/post/are-more-us-making-do-without-car-or-truck <p>Are Americans driving less?</p><p>Some interesting statistics from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute finds that from coast to coast, more of us are making do without a car or truck.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So, what's changing in the way younger Americans look at cars?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We're joined by Bridge Magazine writer Rick </span>Haglund,<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> who recently explored these questions in a piece titled "As Detroit auto show revs, America cools to car culture."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And we're joined by writer </span>Micki<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Maynard, founder and editor in chief of <a href="http://www.curbingcars.com/">Curbing Cars</a></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a website that chronicles changing attitudes towards transportation. She's also a former Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times.</span></p><p><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">*Listen to the audio above.</span></em></p><p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:40:41 +0000 Stateside Staff 16219 at http://michiganradio.org Are more of us making do without a car or truck? Potholes straining road commission budgets http://michiganradio.org/post/potholes-straining-road-commission-budgets <p>County road commissions are closely watching their budgets, after spending more than usual on winter maintenance this year.<br /><br />Freeze-and-thaw cycles have caused a wave of potholes across Michigan.<br /><br /><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"If winter is very expensive, that can impact our other activities that the road commission performs, but pothole filling is something of great importance for us and we will address that," said&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jim Harmon, director of field operations for the&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washtenaw</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;County Road Commission.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder called for $1.2 billion a year in additional money for fixing roads in last year's State of the State address. But his proposal failed to gain traction in the legislature. He's expected to try again this year.</p><p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:22:10 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 16044 at http://michiganradio.org Potholes straining road commission budgets Weather stalls Amtrak train for 8.5 hours in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/weather-stalls-amtrak-train-85-hours-michigan <div><p>NILES,&nbsp;Mich. (AP) - An Amtrak train carrying more than 200 people has arrived in Chicago after weather-related problems caused it to stop for more than eight hours in southwestern Michigan.</p><p>Amtrak spokesman Marc&nbsp;Magliari&nbsp;says the train's engine lost power Sunday due to cold weather. But he says heat, lights and restrooms still worked.</p><p>The train started in Pontiac, north of Detroit, and had trouble between Niles and New Buffalo in the corner of southwestern Michigan. It was later connected to another westbound train and arrived in Chicago around 1:30 a.m. CST Monday.</p><p>Magliari&nbsp;says passengers may have been frustrated but they were always safe on the stalled train. He says it was better to keep them on the train rather than switch to buses, even if buses were available.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 15:56:55 +0000 The Associated Press 15891 at http://michiganradio.org Weather stalls Amtrak train for 8.5 hours in Michigan American Airlines, US Airways agree to continue flights to six Michigan cities http://michiganradio.org/post/american-airlines-us-airways-agree-continue-flights-six-michigan-cities <p>American Airlines and U.S. Airways have agreed to continue daily service to six Michigan communities for at least five years.</p><p>It's part of a settlement agreement reached with Michigan and five other states as part of the two airlines' proposed merger.</p><p>The affected cities in Michigan are Detroit, Flint, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Marquette.</p><p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:23:44 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15250 at http://michiganradio.org American Airlines, US Airways agree to continue flights to six Michigan cities More bike lanes in Michigan mean more cyclists http://michiganradio.org/post/more-bike-lanes-michigan-mean-more-cyclists <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More communities in Michigan are embracing bike lanes.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Grand Rapids plans to add 40 more miles of bike lanes in the next few years.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit has an aggressive approach to implementing them and they're popping up in places like Adrian and South Haven, not to mention the biking hot spots of Traverse City and Marquette.</span></p><p>Josh DeBruyn is the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9615_11223---,00.html">bike and pedestrian coordinator for MDOT.</a>&nbsp;Part of his job is to deal with the applications that towns send him when they apply for grants to help install bike lanes.</p><p>DeBruyn says he gets double to triple the amount of applicants that he can actually fulfill for these kinds of grants.</p><p>He also says he hears from plenty of people and organizations about what he calls "motor vehicle angst" - or drivers who are frustrated and sometimes aggressive with cyclists.</p><p>You can listen to my interview with him here:</p><p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 13:30:00 +0000 Kyle Norris 15210 at http://michiganradio.org More bike lanes in Michigan mean more cyclists This contest is giving Michigan drivers the chance to be highway planners http://michiganradio.org/post/contest-giving-michigan-drivers-chance-be-highway-planners <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So there you are, driving to and from work or school every day.</span></p><p>Chances are, there's probably a stretch of highway you drive that seems particularly soul-numbing and doesn't let you get any sense of place or community.</p><p>If you could design a highway, what would it look like? And could it improve, rather than just carve up your city?</p><p>That's the idea behind <a href="http://www.letssavemichigan.com/highways-for-habitats-contest/">Highways for Habitats</a>, a contest being run by the Michigan Municipal League's Let's Save Michigan Initiative.</p><p>Sarah Szurpicki is a project coordinator with the Let's Save Michigan Initiative, and she's been involved in many efforts to revitalize cities in the Great Lakes region. She joins us today to discuss the contest that would allow drivers to play transportation planner.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Listen to full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 19:38:05 +0000 Stateside Staff 14879 at http://michiganradio.org This contest is giving Michigan drivers the chance to be highway planners Michigan Transportation Odyssey is traveling from Traverse City to Detroit using only public transit http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-transportation-odyssey-traveling-traverse-city-detroit-using-only-public-transit <p>The Michigan Transportation Odyssey is going from Traverse City to Detroit this week using only public transportation. It's an annual event held by Transportation for Michigan, which advocates for transportation policy changes around the state.<br><br>Kathryn Gray is a spokeswoman for Transportation for Michigan. She says the Odyssey is meant to celebrate Michigan's accomplishments in public transportation over the past year. But they're also thinking about ways Michigan's public transit can improve.</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 17:45:51 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14585 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Transportation Odyssey is traveling from Traverse City to Detroit using only public transit Governor Snyder says some Medicaid savings could go to roads http://michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-says-some-medicaid-savings-could-go-roads <p>Governor Rick Snyder says extending Medicaid to more working poor people will save the state a lot of money – maybe $130 million next year. That begs the question of what to do with the budget windfall.</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp; The Snyder administration says the Medicaid expansion to 320,000 working poor people will help reduce uncompensated hospital care and other things that drive up the cost of health care. But the state should also see direct savings by shifting costs like prisoner mental health services to the Medicaid program.</p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 23:30:00 +0000 Rick Pluta 14278 at http://michiganradio.org Governor Snyder says some Medicaid savings could go to roads Ann Arbor will debut a bike share program in April 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/ann-arbor-will-debut-bike-share-program-april-2014 <p>The Ann Arbor City Council Thursday night approved a plan for a bike share program. It's a collaboration with the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and the <a href="http://cec-mi.org/">Clean Energy Coalition</a>.</p> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:39:33 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13915 at http://michiganradio.org Ann Arbor will debut a bike share program in April 2014 Stateside for Thursday, August 1st, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-thursday-august-1st-2013 <p>People around the world and right here in Michigan are rethinking money in order to ease financial woes, and they're doing it with local currency. On today's show we found out what it is, and where it's working.</p><p>And, we headed up north to a resort town where a vacation can lead to putting down roots and building a business.</p><p>Also, one of the co-founders of The Artist Lounge joined us to tell us about how her business is breathing new life into Pontiac.</p><p>And, the Farm Bill and food stamp programs expire at the end of September. We took a closer look at what this means for Michiganders receiving federal food assistance.</p><p>Also, we spoke with Micki Maynard about what she thinks the future of personal transportation will look like.</p><p>First on the show, a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;State Senate panel has voted to make more than 300,000 Michiganders eligible for Medicaid in 2014. And that's not all: the GOP-led Government Operations Committee said yes to two alternative plans.</span></p><p>So, from the Senate ticking off Governor Snyder by adjourning without voting on the House-passed Medicaid expansion plan to this Senate Panel serving up not one, not two, but three Medicaid proposals, it's a lot to keep track of.</p><p>We turned to Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing reporter Jake Neher for a little help in sorting this all out.</p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 21:41:44 +0000 Stateside Staff 13800 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Thursday, August 1st, 2013 The future of personal transportation might not include cars http://michiganradio.org/post/future-personal-transportation-might-not-include-cars <p>What does the future hold for the way we get from Point A to Point B?</p><p>Writer Micki Maynard is looking at what's happening all around the country in terms of personal transportation and she sees big changes on the way.</p><p>Micki is the former Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times and she has authored four books, including "The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Industry."</p><p>And now she's got a new project in the works, a proposed e-book called "<a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michelinemaynard/curbing-cars-rethinking-how-we-get-around">Curbing Cars</a>."</p><p>Micki Maynard joined us today in the studio.</p><p><i>Listen to the full interview above.</i></p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 21:26:50 +0000 Stateside Staff 13796 at http://michiganradio.org The future of personal transportation might not include cars The self-driving car is no longer a thing of fiction http://michiganradio.org/post/self-driving-car-no-longer-thing-fiction <p>Are you ready to let your car do the driving?</p><p>Once we thought of the self-driving car as something from science fiction. But technological breakthroughs have been coming at ever-increasing speeds.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Google expects its driverless car will be ready for consumers in the next 3-5 years. GM thinks intelligent vehicles will be on the roads by 2020. Ford predicts 2025.</span></p><p>And researchers at the University of Michigan are making sure the Great Lakes State is front-and-center in developing and testing the connected vehicle technology that is essential to the self-driving car.</p><p>The director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Dr. Peter Sweatman, and&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Richard Wallace,&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">the director of Transportation Systems Analysis for the Center for Automotive Research, joined us today to talk about the future of transportation.</span></p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 22:11:15 +0000 Stateside Staff 13774 at http://michiganradio.org The self-driving car is no longer a thing of fiction New study indicates that Americans drive less than they used to http://michiganradio.org/post/new-study-indicates-americans-drive-less-they-used <p>A new study from the University of Michigan suggests that Americans who drive light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVS, pick-up trucks, and vans) don't drive as far as they used to.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/98982/102950.pdf">The study</a>, from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (MTRI), was published this month, and looks at national driving trends from 1984-2011.&nbsp;</p><p>According to MTRI's findings, the distance people drove peaked in 2004. Distances were evaluated based on how much a person, a licensed driver, a household and a registered vehicle traveled.&nbsp;</p><p>The major takeaway from the study is that because distances decreased before the 2008 recession, the lower numbers weren't a result of a short-term issue. Essentially, the lower distances driven seem to be a part of a longer term trend.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 20:11:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13742 at http://michiganradio.org New study indicates that Americans drive less than they used to Congressman Peters wants transportation projects to stay local http://michiganradio.org/post/congressman-peters-wants-transportation-projects-stay-local <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">A half-dozen major transportation infrastructure projects are in the works for southeast Michigan, and Congressman Gary Peters wants to make sure local workers get the jobs that come along with them.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Peters convened a transportation jobs summit to push that objective Monday.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">“If we’re bringing federal money into the state of Michigan, I want people from the state of Michigan working on those projects," said Peters. "And if the project is in the city of Detroit, then I want Detroiters working on those projects.”</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Peters says those federal funds often come tied to thousands of local employment opportunities—but that doesn’t always work out.</span></p><p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 19:03:46 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13739 at http://michiganradio.org Congressman Peters wants transportation projects to stay local Planned renovation of I-94 is met with resistance, but will it be worth it? http://michiganradio.org/post/planned-renovation-i-94-met-resistance-will-it-be-worth-it <p>Earlier this summer, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, SEMCOG, adopted something called the "<a href="http://www.semcog.org/2040regionaltransportationplan.aspx">2040 Regional Transportation Plan</a>." It's a roadmap, essentially, of how to spend $36 billion over the next 30 years to improve transportation in Southeast Michigan.</p><p>Of all the proposed improvements in this plan, the most controversial has been the renovation and expansion of I-94 and I-75. The price tag to expand and renovate these Detroit-area freeways is around $4 billion.</p><p>But critics say the proposals, especially the I-94 project, would force neighbors to pay a different price.</p><p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 17:44:15 +0000 Stateside Staff 13492 at http://michiganradio.org Planned renovation of I-94 is met with resistance, but will it be worth it? Michigan ranked 12th most bike-friendly state http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-ranked-12th-most-bike-friendly-state <p> Students across Michigan hopped on their bikes this morning, in celebration of the country’s second annual Bike to School Day. According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, <a href="http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/go/whos-biking/2013/MI">more than 80 Michigan schools</a> geared up for the two-wheeled holiday, up from 45 schools in 2012.<br> <br> Bike to School Day rolls around just days after the League of American Bicyclists released their report on the most bike-friendly states in the country. Michigan earned a spot in the top twenty, <a href="http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/bicyclefriendlystate/bfs_report_cards/bfs2013_reportcard_michigan.pdf">falling in 12th place</a> on the group’s survey. In the Midwest region, Michigan was ranked fourth.</p> <p> Wed, 08 May 2013 18:01:37 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12471 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan ranked 12th most bike-friendly state