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Lansing's CATA is undertaking a multimodal corridor study

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The Capital Area Transportation Authority in Lansing, MI, is leading a coalition of agencies, municipalities and community organizations in evaluating long-term multimodal enhancement options along the 7.1 mile stretch of Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue between the Capitol and Meridian Mall. The study is the first phase of one or many projects that will improve transportation options in this stretch.

I say 'one or many' because we really do not know what the final outcome will be. The study will be looking at all modes of transportation in the corridor; including biking, walking, automotive, and transit.

The improvements on the corridor will be made to increase mobility for persons along the corridor. We will look at everything from safety to land use to congestion and traffic counts to see what can be done better. The study will also pay attention to opportunities for economic development along the corridor.

The overriding motivation behind this study is the importance of this corridor to our region. With the state capital, Sparrow Hospital, MSU, Meridian Mall, and everything in between in the study area, the vitality of the corridor affects not only our local region, but has state, national and international implications as well.

From the transportation side, there are many reasons to study this corridor further. First among these is the corridor's high transit ridership. With over 1.7 million trips on Route 1 alone, this corridor is one of the most-served in the Midwest (with 10-15 minute service for much of the day), but also one of the highest-traveled in a year.

Additionally, the corridor has an average daily traffic count (ADT) of up to 28,000 vehicles per day, which is the among the highest-traveled non-highway routes in our region.

CATA is especially interested because of a 2005 Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA). The study found that Route 1 (along the corridor) carries over 10% of the trips on Grand River Avenue, and recommended conducting a more in-depth transit study.

MDOT recommended that, rather than concentrating only on transit improvements, the study should be of all transportation options in the corridor, including transit, walking, biking, and automobile.

The study is being funded entirely through a federal grant to CATA. As the team leader, CATA has assembled a group of government officials, heads of local organizations such as LEAP and the Lansing Chamber, state and regional officials such as the Ingham County Road Commission and MDOT, to study this corridor.

If you want more information, check out our 'interim' website at www.migrtrans.org or on facebook. A new website that doesn't look home-made will be up and runnning in less than a week's time.

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