Consistency with Regional Goals
Development of Direction2035 is guided by regional transportation goals; if implemented, the policies, initiatives, and projects included in Direction2035 will advance those goals, although perhaps not to the desired extent given our growing needs and limited resources. More certainly needs to be done to raise additional revenues and use our resources more wisely.
Enhance accessibility and mobility for all people
Direction2035 includes policies, initiatives, and projects to enhance accessibility and mobility for all people, across all modes.
- More people will have access to walking and biking facilities that are more connected to the places people want to go so they can use the facilities not only for recreation, but as a travel option for work, school, and shopping trips.
- The existing fixed-route bus system will be maintained to serve the transit dependent as well as those who would prefer transit over auto travel.
- Additional emphasis will be placed on serving the transit needs of older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-wage workers by developing and implementing coordinated human service transportation plans throughout the region.
- Three rapid transit lines will be constructed, providing additional travel options for residents and hopefully attracting and retaining younger, knowledge-based workers who view higher-level transit as a key quality of life issue. Studies to expand the rapid transit network to the next three high-priority routes will also be conducted.
- A regional transit authority will be developed to continue advocating for an expanded and coordinated regional transit system.
- Roadway capacity expansion (e.g., new lanes, roads, or interchanges) will be constructed where necessary to meet current and future congestion needs and where other, less-intensive options are not effective in reducing delay to an acceptable level.
Enhance accessibility and mobility for freight while maintaining community integrity
The benefits described in the previous section also benefit freight movement — by keeping traffic moving more efficiently and by removing some trips from the road system (by promoting transit and nonmotorized travel). In addition, Direction2035 includes policies, initiatives, and projects designed specifically to enhance accessibility and mobility for freight while maintaining community integrity.
- Border crossings will be improved by reconfiguring the Blue Water Bridge Plaza in Port Huron, constructing a replacement span of the Ambassador Bridge in the City of Detroit so pre-screened trucks can be cleared through customs more efficiently, and constructing an additional publicly owned border crossing.
- A replacement rail tunnel will be constructed between Detroit and Windsor allowing for larger, double-stacked cargo trains.
- The Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal will consolidate rail and truck traffic at the existing Junction Yard to facilitate more effective transfer of freight from one mode to another. The project will also improve the interaction between trucks and trains and the local community.
- The Aerotropolis concept will be further advanced in an effort to make Detroit Metro Airport and Willow Run Airport more competitive in the world freight market.
- SEMCOG will continue working with representatives of all modes of freight shipment — truck, rail, air, and port — to advance a regional freight strategy that benefits all, strengthens the regional economy, and attracts and retains business and industry.
Strategically improve the transportation infrastructure to enhance community and economic vitality
Direction2035 includes policies, initiatives, and projects designed to improve the transportation infrastructure to enhance community and economic vitality.
- Bridge conditions will be improved and pavement conditions will be maintained by focusing investment on the most appropriate mix of fixes (i.e., keeping roads and bridges in good condition through routine maintenance and shorter-term fixes before they deteriorate to a poor condition requiring costly reconstruction or replacement).
- Transportation system needs and improvements will be coordinated with community water and sewer infrastructure needs.
- Traffic operations will be improved by retiming traffic signals, examining and addressing driveway and intersection placement along major roadways, and maintaining and expanding a system of advanced technologies (such as freeway cameras and message signs) for monitoring traffic flow and informing motorists of possible delays.
- The relationship between transportation and land use will be emphasized, the goal being to help local communities recognize the importance of transportation to community viability and implement low-cost initiatives designed to enhance safety, walkability and bikeability, traffic flow, and aesthetics.
Promote a safe and secure transportation system
Direction2035 includes policies, initiatives, and projects designed to promote a safe and secure transportation system.
- Intersection design and signalization will be improved to enhance safety for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. Improving safety will not only decrease crashes but improve traffic flow.
- Rail safety will be improved by examining safety issues at grade-level rail crossings.
- Additional walking and biking paths will be constructed and communities will be encouraged to implement sensible land use policies that support safe and effective walking and biking. Particular emphasis will be placed on encouraging walking and biking to transit stops.
- Education and enforcement campaigns will continue to be supported in an effort to change travel behavior for the better, e.g., decreasing drunk driving and red-light-running, educating drivers about how to steer clear of deer, and encouraging seat belt use.
Protect the environment, both natural and built
Direction2035 includes policies, initiatives, and projects designed to protect the environment, both natural and built.
- Vehicle emissions will continue to decrease as projects improving traffic flow are implemented and as vehicles become cleaner and more fuel efficient.
- SEMCOG will continue exploring how to quantify and address regional greenhouse gas emissions resulting from automobile use.
- Continued emphasis will be placed on coordinating transportation and community planning in an effort to create communities where people can live and travel affordably, particularly to and from work and school.
- Local road and transit agencies will be encouraged to understand the impact of transportation projects on environmentally sensitive resources and either avoid or mitigate possible impacts.