Welcome to SEMCOG's Think Regional/Act Local blog! SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county regions 4.7 million residents. With this regional perspective in mind, we work with member local governments to sustain our regions reputation as a great place to work, play, and do business.


Our panel of SEMCOG staff bloggers will post daily to this blog, discussing SEMCOG's data, federal and state legislative issues, and environmental and fiscal sustainability best practices for local governments all with the goal of creating a successful future for the region.


Meet SEMCOG's Blogging team:

Amy Mangus
Member Services
About Amy . . .
Read Amy's past posts

Dave Boerger
Government Efficiency
About Dave . . .
Read Dave's past posts

Bill Anderson
Local Government Revenue
About Bill . . .
Read Bill's past posts

Carmine Palombo
About Carmine . . .
Read Carmine's past posts

Xuan Liu
Data & Demographics
About Xuan . . .
Read Xuan's past posts

Grant Brooks
Public Outreach
About Grant . . .
Read Grant's past posts



Think Regional/Act Local

So far, so good

(Efficiency, Transportation) Permanent link


April 14, 2014 – Well, we reached the end of the first week of constructionmageddon on I-96. (So, I invented a new word, rhymes with snowmageddon!). So far, things seem to be going well. I drive through the construction every day, so I have first-hand knowledge of what is going on. I tested different routes every day last week. In the morning, I have stayed on the service drive to Telegraph, taken 5 Mile, 6 Mile, and Plymouth Roads to Telegraph and to Lahser and Outer Drive. I have found very little difference in my travel time taking any of these routes and none of them has been congested.


On my way home from downtown, I have stayed on the local lanes and gotten off at Outer Drive a couple of days and Telegraph a couple of days. From there, I have gone south to Plymouth to get home and gone north to 5 Mile and 6 Mile to get home. I have not encountered any significant congestion getting home using any of these routes so far.


On the first Monday of the closure as I was driving on the local lanes going home, I did observe a long line of cars waiting to get off on Southfield with most of them going south once on the overpass. I initially thought I would try getting off at Southfield and go north to the Grand River/Fenkell exit, would be the best way for me to get home, but guess I was wrong!


Anyway, whatever route you are taking, it seems that there has been no big hurt yet. All of this could change in the coming week as more schools are back in session. Also, as construction advances, there may be changes required in your choices. It is important that you continue to be patient, look for better routes, especially if congestion does grow and remember, this will all be over in about six months.


What do we get for this? Well, we get a lot. We get construction completed in one construction season instead of two. We get a project that costs fewer dollars so that other projects can also proceed. Most importantly, we get a new freeway that should be good for another 30 years or so. Sounds like a good deal to me!




Carmine Palombo
If you want to know what about anything related to transportation in Southeast Michigan, don’t miss Carmine Palombo's blog. Carmine has more than 30 years of experience in various phases of transportation planning at SEMCOG. He is responsible for administering SEMCOG’s transportation planning program, which includes the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-term transportation plan.

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register to comment. 
By commenting, you are agreeing to the 
terms of use.



SEMCOG Water & Sewer Benchmarks

(Efficiency, SEMCOG Member Services) Permanent link


April 1, 2014 – With the deadline fast approaching to decide the future of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, this week’s blog as part of our continuing series reviewing the recently updated SEMCOG municipal benchmarks will focus on Water & Sewer metrics.


D.C. Sewer
By Zginder (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


SEMCOG Water & Sewer Benchmarks


Water and Sewer Benchmarks


Even though most communities across the region use Detroit Water and Sewerage for such services, the infrastructure within the boundaries of your community must be managed internally – a tall challenge in today’s fiscal environment. Sometimes sewer and water systems can be out of site and in turn out of mind, with such assets not being properly maintained or used.


The above benchmarks help guide and assure that proper methodologies are being applied to assure effective operation of these utilities within your community. For example, the benchmarks highlighted in yellow show the frequency of typical problems for the best and average systems across the region. Ongoing attention by senior officials is necessary in order to improve performance if your municipal water and sewer system is experiencing problems at higher than indicated levels. Otherwise your residents and businesses will no doubt express low satisfaction with the service and have high complaint rates.


SEMCOG can help sort through your sewer and water department issues and develop an optimum strategy, at no cost to member communities. Contact Dave Boerger.


Dave Boerger
Learn how to navigate fiscal uncertainty by improving efficiency, fostering collaboration, and enhancing service delivery. Through weekly posts, Dave will discuss legislative developments, best practices, and training opportunities.

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register to comment. 
By commenting, you are agreeing to the 
terms of use.