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GRDadof3

Highway and Road Construction Updates

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1 minute ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think that was part of the original plan too. But then they put the dedicated bike paths up on North Division and I think that was a lower cost option. I don't know the details behind the decisions. 

It just seems to me like vacating the road which is redundant with Division and a pain in the butt to use, could open up that stretch of Division to development and foot traffic, in what is otherwise a dead zone. 

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17 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Here's the redesign of the I-196 on ramp. North is to the right. 

713546137_i196onramprebuild.thumb.JPG.18caf8da9a68629ac0b4db0c19a9ded1.JPG

 

I'm not sure why the City is so dedicated to further eliminating connections between Monroe North and Downtown. We should be reestablishing the traditional grid, not continue to remove it. Dumping all of the traffic onto only Monroe and Division is not how you reduce traffic congestion. 

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I think there was a proposal out there to make Ionia north of the freeway a linear park with a bike path.   Maybe it was a GRForward rendering I saw, but don't recall.  

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4 hours ago, demhem said:

I'm not sure why the City is so dedicated to further eliminating connections between Monroe North and Downtown. We should be reestablishing the traditional grid, not continue to remove it. Dumping all of the traffic onto only Monroe and Division is not how you reduce traffic congestion. 

I think the main goal of this was to take more cars off of Michigan Street, which is expected grow with traffic exponentially. Now people headed out of downtown and going West on I-196 can take North Division and avoid Michigan and Ionia traffic. 

It looks like they've definitely enhanced the pedetrian paths up to Ionia beyond the onramp. And mpchicago is right, I believe the ultimate goal is to make Ionia  a linear park with a bike expressway like Riverside Park. 

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9 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think that was part of the original plan too. But then they put the dedicated bike paths up on North Division and I think that was a lower cost option. I don't know the details behind the decisions. 

The bollards they put up separating the bike paths from the auto traffic really aren't weathering the winter very well at all. Seems like a quarter of them have already been obliterated.

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11 hours ago, tSlater said:

The bollards they put up separating the bike paths from the auto traffic really aren't weathering the winter very well at all. Seems like a quarter of them have already been obliterated.

Those are temporary (i.e. literally glued down)

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I read this in the County Road  Association Friday "news letter". It was my understanding the 3 Engler bond issues ("Build Michigan. 1, 2 & 3) and Granholms "Jobs Today" bond issue were close to being paid off.  Not so apparently. Those bonds where predicated on a growing economy and more miles driven.  As we all now that didn't happen, the "lost decade". 

To keep the pavement rating up, they resort to quick fixes of milling and filling to deal with cracks. If Whitmer does additional bonding, the capacity issues ie a third lane on 96 west of Cascade, 3rd lane on 131 north of West River will never get built.

image.png.f32ec79e3d6dd63a8d40259ba27ccbc9.png

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On 12/21/2018 at 3:15 PM, GRDadof3 said:

I assume you guys mean something like this?

814498923_96ramp.thumb.jpg.fb86599ce03c7ada6a6e0debbdc141ec.jpg

I noticed yesterday while dodging car accidents that they're starting to clear trees for this little spur/interchange. 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I noticed yesterday while dodging car accidents that they're starting to clear trees for this little spur/interchange. 

They are actually going to add that segment?   I thought that was a pie in the sky "one day" type of thing, like three quarters of every other MDOT upgrade i've heard discussed.

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34 minutes ago, MJLO said:

They are actually going to add that segment?   I thought that was a pie in the sky "one day" type of thing, like three quarters of every other MDOT upgrade i've heard discussed.

Yes, Raildudes's Dad mentioned earlier that they had worked it into the budget. 

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I wonder if there is any plan or real demand for a ramp going the other way, from eat bound 196 to North/West 96.

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No on both. The EB 96 to WB 196 ramp has been laid out but will not be built. The tree removal is for E 96 to the EBL ramp. What was added to the project is the work on EB 196, 3rd lane from Fuller to EB96

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8 hours ago, Raildudes dad said:

No on both. The EB 96 to WB 196 ramp has been laid out but will not be built. The tree removal is for E 96 to the EBL ramp. What was added to the project is the work on EB 196, 3rd lane from Fuller to EB96

Ah I must have misread the earlier post. 

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9 hours ago, Raildudes dad said:

No on both. The EB 96 to WB 196 ramp has been laid out but will not be built. The tree removal is for E 96 to the EBL ramp. What was added to the project is the work on EB 196, 3rd lane from Fuller to EB96

 The fact that they did all the grading and laid it out and there’s no obstructions, seems like the cost would be minimal. Although traffic demands might not really warrant it, definitely would if they would ever add an exit at Knapp Street, Which seems logical and would alleviate east beltline.

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I'm not intending to start a debate on the merits for or against the additional gas tax, but I'm curious about the quote below: would this help or hurt the GR area in getting more road attention?  Would this help GR get some of the highway upgrades that I believe are necessary (3rd lane on I-96 between I-196 and 28th Street, 3rd lane on US-131 N of West River, 2nd lane on M-37 through Caledonia, etc.)?  Or does this mean more money funneled towards Metro Detroit, at the expense of GR? 

"The new revenue would be targeted to the most heavily traveled and "economically significant" roads rather than be divided under a current formula that critics say favors rural areas."

 

https://www.woodtv.com/news/michigan/a-breakdown-of-gov-whitmer-s-budget-plan/1829151276

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11 hours ago, cutlervillegr said:

I'm not intending to start a debate on the merits for or against the additional gas tax, but I'm curious about the quote below: would this help or hurt the GR area in getting more road attention?  Would this help GR get some of the highway upgrades that I believe are necessary (3rd lane on I-96 between I-196 and 28th Street, 3rd lane on US-131 N of West River, 2nd lane on M-37 through Caledonia, etc.)?  Or does this mean more money funneled towards Metro Detroit, at the expense of GR? 

"The new revenue would be targeted to the most heavily traveled and "economically significant" roads rather than be divided under a current formula that critics say favors rural areas."

 

https://www.woodtv.com/news/michigan/a-breakdown-of-gov-whitmer-s-budget-plan/1829151276

I would think so. Maybe everything in purple, brown and red on this map?

https://mdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e48aa2a7804845c4aee71fd7344db54a

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First: There is nothing wrong with the formula in Act 51, 1/3 MDOT, 1/3 Road Commissions, and 1/3 cities and villages. All 3 categories have been short funded since the last gas tax increase in the 90's. Rural roads and city streets need to be maintained as well.  It's just a money grab by MDOT. It was disturbing to find out that MDOT still has bonds to pay off. 

Second: MDOT has to get out of the idea that if the pavement gets a few cracks it's time to mill off a few inches and repave.  A 1 inch repave will  crack the same year, a 2 inch repave will crack in 2, a 3 inch in 3 years, you get the idea.  Crack sealing the cracks fora few years is a whole lot cheaper, then a chip seal a couple years later can really extend the life of the driving surface. Road Commissions have been doing it for years.

$0.45 over 3 years should allow all  the highway authorities to start to address the capacity needs. I will tell you that after 25 years of insufficient road funding, there is not the staff to design the work or contractors to do the work. These won't get fixed overnight either

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Ugh, they're cutting down all of those beautiful pines on the South side of I-196 by the East Beltline exit. Dangit. 

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I don't think the gas tax increase is the right way to go. We would have the highest gas tax in the country, and it would be a very temporary solution that's going to have us looking at budget problems with MDOT again in a decade as Electric Vehicles (EVs) (and to a lesser degree, Hydrogen Fuel Vehicles from the trucking industry and Japanese automakers) look to dominate the market sometime within the decade, therefore shifting the tax burden of fixing the roads onto the poor who will be the last to switch to EVs. EVs are going to be coming very quickly at some point fairly soon, especially once they reach price parity with gas vehicles. Especially once EV and Hydrogen-Fuel trucks start rolling out, the state's going to be quickly saying goodbye to fuel tax revenue from the trucking industry, which I imagine is a huge chunk of that fuel tax revenue. The super high tax rate may even result in a stronger and quicker shift towards EVs in the state than in the rest of the country, as people will have more to save by making the switch. MDOT's funding would dry up even worse than it has in the past. Especially if, as Raildudes Dad says, it'll be a slow turnaround in terms of getting staff, making designs, and the like. By the time it comes to start making the upgrades, could be when tax revenue starts dropping. A funding system for MDOT needs to start looking away from gas taxes and towards other sources of revenue.

Basically, this seems as smart to me as trying to fund road improvement budgets in 1910 with a punishingly high tax on horse ownership.

Edited by tSlater

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The tax has to come from somewhere.   I think the roads should be fully funded by users.  That means gas tax, registration etc.   You drive - you pay.   You dont want to  pay the tax..drive less...live closer to your work, etc.   I would not dismiss adding an EV fee of some sort in the future.  Though for other political reasons, I don't believe switching to EV's at a faster rate would be a bad thing (pollution, dependence on oil). 

This could be the highest gas tax, but we also have some of the worst roads in the entire country.   2 cents

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7 minutes ago, JoeSchmo said:

The tax has to come from somewhere.   I think the roads should be fully funded by users.  That means gas tax, registration etc.   You drive - you pay.   You dont want to  pay the tax..drive less...live closer to your work, etc.   I would not dismiss adding an EV fee of some sort in the future.  Though for other political reasons, I don't believe switching to EV's at a faster rate would be a bad thing (pollution, dependence on oil). 

This could be the highest gas tax, but we also have some of the worst roads in the entire country.   2 cents

There's already a drive and pay system in place, and it's already a higher than average tax compared to other states.   I don't know where it's being allocated, but we are currently driving and paying for more than just roads as it is.  From what I understand a chunk of that money intended for roads has been diverted into other programs.  What's to stop them from diverting some of this new money to other areas as well. 

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12 minutes ago, JoeSchmo said:

The tax has to come from somewhere.   I think the roads should be fully funded by users.  That means gas tax, registration etc.   You drive - you pay.   You dont want to  pay the tax..drive less...live closer to your work, etc.   I would not dismiss adding an EV fee of some sort in the future.  Though for other political reasons, I don't believe switching to EV's at a faster rate would be a bad thing (pollution, dependence on oil). 

This could be the highest gas tax, but we also have some of the worst roads in the entire country.   2 cents

My first reaction to reading the proposal was "woof, that is going to make gas really expensive." But then I swallowed hard and admitted that, yeah, if we want to have nice things, we'll have to pay for them somehow, and its going to cost a lot no matter where the revenue comes from.  Then I also realized, that virtually nothing in Whitmer's proposed budget will be adopted by the legislature.  She is putting pressure on them to set for their own alternative ideas for funding our roads.  Will be interesting to see what (if anything) they come up with.

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3 minutes ago, MJLO said:

There's already a drive and pay system in place, and it's already a higher than average tax compared to other states.   I don't know where it's being allocated, but we are currently driving and paying for more than just roads as it is.  From what I understand a chunk of that money intended for roads has been diverted into other programs.  What's to stop them from diverting some of this new money to other areas as well. 

I agree that should be fixed as well.  I believe the proposed gas tax increase, they are removing general fund money to fund roads and would be replaced with this gas tax.  But I am not sure about the other way around.  Gas tax money certainly shouldn't be used to fund the state general fund.

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3 hours ago, tSlater said:

I don't think the gas tax increase is the right way to go. We would have the highest gas tax in the country, and it would be a very temporary solution that's going to have us looking at budget problems with MDOT again in a decade as Electric Vehicles (EVs) (and to a lesser degree, Hydrogen Fuel Vehicles from the trucking industry and Japanese automakers) look to dominate the market sometime within the decade, therefore shifting the tax burden of fixing the roads onto the poor who will be the last to switch to EVs. EVs are going to be coming very quickly at some point fairly soon, especially once they reach price parity with gas vehicles. Especially once EV and Hydrogen-Fuel trucks start rolling out, the state's going to be quickly saying goodbye to fuel tax revenue from the trucking industry, which I imagine is a huge chunk of that fuel tax revenue. The super high tax rate may even result in a stronger and quicker shift towards EVs in the state than in the rest of the country, as people will have more to save by making the switch. MDOT's funding would dry up even worse than it has in the past. Especially if, as Raildudes Dad says, it'll be a slow turnaround in terms of getting staff, making designs, and the like. By the time it comes to start making the upgrades, could be when tax revenue starts dropping. A funding system for MDOT needs to start looking away from gas taxes and towards other sources of revenue.

Basically, this seems as smart to me as trying to fund road improvement budgets in 1910 with a punishingly high tax on horse ownership.

In the long run when we are all whizzing around in electric cars you are right.  Despite all the buzz about the coming future of electric vehicles, the fact is almost all the current new models continue to be bigger and bigger personal use trucks and SUVs and the domestic auto companies are almost eliminating more efficient sedans and compact vehicles.  There was a news article just yesterday about how in the past year fuel mileage has hardly improved despite more efficient engines and a few more electric vehicles on the road because the vast majority of people are buying bigger gas burning vehicles.

Since vehicles last around twenty years, even if electric vehicles started to become popular and available in large numbers in say 2020, it will take a very long time for them to replace gasoline fueled vehicles unless there are large dis-incentives to buying and using gas vehicles (like for example a high gas tax.)

The reason the auto companies are shifting their resources towards electric vehicles is because of the Chinese, not because of U.S. demand.  GM currently sells more vehicles in China than in America.  The Chinese government is pushing electric vehicles, both for environmental reasons and so they will be expert on the technology.  They have imposed a massive tax on new gasoline vehicles and no tax on new electric vehicles.

Passing a higher gas tax will be hard enough.  I fear if any other type of state tax is proposed for raising revenue for roads, it will get bogged down in endless debate given the current political climate.  Whitmer’s proposal is pretty much a copy of the proposal by a non-partisan committee made up of an equal number of former state legislators from both parties.  I think the time to start looking at alternatives to the gas tax is when we start actually seeing a topping off of gasoline sales. 
 

Edited by walker

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15 minutes ago, MJLO said:

There's already a drive and pay system in place, and it's already a higher than average tax compared to other states.   I don't know where it's being allocated, but we are currently driving and paying for more than just roads as it is.  From what I understand a chunk of that money intended for roads has been diverted into other programs.  What's to stop them from diverting some of this new money to other areas as well. 

The reason ours is considered high is that we also collect sales tax on our gas. The sales tax money goes to the general fund.

Personally I like the idea of the gas tax. It hits two birds with one stone, fixing our infrastructure as well as encouraging EV use. I understand that it is, however, a regressive tax, so I also like a registration tax that is higher on newer vehicles, we could copy the system that MA uses. Also, I think a lot of people overlook that Whitmer proposed doubling the earned income credit to offset the gas tax on lower income households.

Edited by Kinkema

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