Corridor Improvement Authority for Michigan Ave



  • edited August 2008
    Thanks for the LED information. The 68 mile thing was a mistake on my part. I also was not aware of the exact layout of the urban area, so thank you for the link and I find it interesting that due to population it can (as makes sense) omit certain land from being considered part despite being closer than some other parts that are within the defined area. Even so, as we're still only talking about #1's route, which does not go anywhere near the Grand Ledge west DeWitt north and Mason south of the urban area I do still find the larger areas densities and populations less significant to the viability of a rail on Michigan Ave. I'm not saying that no one from those parts of the urban area would ever use it, or that this wouldn't still fall under the larger area's jurisdiction if it were under an authority like Cata's. But unless something larger than one line is being considered I would still hold the population of directly where it goes through to be of more significance. I know you know you're stuff LMich, so I'm not trying to argue, nor was I trying to not include the importance of places like Meridian Township when I first mentioned Tacoma and only mentioned Lansing and East Lansing's density. I was simply trying to make mention of some of the few places with light rail systems currently out there that aren't dozens of miles long to begin with. Many places with rail systems dwarf Lansing in city, urban, and metro areas so that they seem only most viable in higher populated areas. Isn't that part of why (mostly) only #1's route is being considered (for now anyways)? Its about the only part of the urban area with enough people to even consider at the moment.
  • edited August 2008
    Well, I'm not sure about Meridian Township and the parts of E.L. not serviced by the Board of Water and Light, but there is a LED street light pilot going on in the confines of the BWL service area.

    See here:

    Apparently the BWL wanted to retrofit the historic looking lamps they have throughout the city, but wanted to test the LEDs first and come up and with a good fit. Sounds like a great idea to me -- up to 10X the life for the LED bulbs over what they use now. (Now if we could only get the BWL to come up with more ideas like this to offset the need for new coal generation, but that's a topic for another discussion.)
  • Also -- binto, I don't get your argument. Is it that we don't have the regional density and / or population to support more than the existing bus service? I'm totally confused.
  • I had read a LSJ story about a year ago saying that Ingham county plans on switching to all LED's, I don't remember any details though.
  • rooor,

    Thanks for the info about the BWL. I still can't seem to figure out if it is the Department of Public Service or the Office of Transportation & Parking (under the Department of Planning & Development) that has authority over traffic lights, in specific, though.

    BTW, I don't think Binto is arguing against light rail for Lansing. He and I was simply debating when talking regional transit whether or not it is better to use city or regional population and density numbers.
  • Reminder -- meeting number two is tomorrow:

    Workshop #2
    August 26
    3-5 pm
    MSU Center for Community and Economic Development, 1615 E. Michigan Ave.

    I'll be there. Anyone else planning to go?
  • edited August 2008
    Here's a general recap from the LSJ about the meeting:
    Tuesday's workshop centered on defining visions for Michigan Avenue and discussing possible improvements.

    For instance, improving the walkability of the corridor could be met in part by adding sidewalks and benches, Mullins said.

    Other possibilities include making parks easier to find, unifying the different segments and enhancing the street's appearance with trees and building facade improvements, she said.

    At the final session - which has not been scheduled - participants will discuss how to logistically reach the goals developed at the first two workshops, including what type of policies need to be put in place, Mullins said.
    The LSJ pushed the actual meat of the meeting to the bottom of the article and only gave it about four sentences. Did anybody that went want to talk more about what was discussed?
  • edited August 2008

    First, the advisory team introduced themselves and briefly reviewed the content of the first meeting, during which participants had developed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) for the corridor.

    Next, we moved on to a discussion about a broad vision for the corridor -- an opportunity for participants to throw out big ideas.

    MY favorite was John Melcher's (MSU CED staff) idea of the corridor as "the Main Street for the region". In other words, Michigan Avenue should connect the downtowns and activity of Lansing and East Lansing, both physically and emotionally. John did the best job of packaging what a lot of people were saying -- there's great potential to make Michigan Ave a truly vibrant, urban corridor. Already in place are major employers, entertainment, restaurants, and nightlife on either end, and some healthy stretches of retail and housing in the middle. With some targeted increases in density, and improvements in design and transportation, the region would really be on to something.

    A lot of ideas were thrown out, both big and small. Among them:
    - general agreement about the need for complete streets-oriented design improvements to make the corridor more safer / more friendly for bicycle and pedestrian use.
    - support for improving the current transit service along the corridor, to move it beyond just bus service (no real specifics here -- maybe a street car with free or reduced fares in particular zones?).
    - we discussed what to do about the albatross that is Frandor Shopping Center, what to make of / do with the Red Cedar Golf Course (a big park?), and how to make the corridor attractive to a diverse range of residents and visitors.

    Finally, the advisory team broke the corridor down into three geographical sections and we (participants) broke up into groups to give more specific, detailed ideas about improvements.
  • The LSJ has a front page story today on the City's Gateways, with plenty of spot-on comments about how ugly some of Lansing's entry points are, and what can be done to spruce them up.

    It's refreshing to see an article in the LSJ addressing urban design, and it sounds like the Mich. Ave Corridor will take on the entry point along that side of town...
  • I've been wanting to hear city government address this for years, now. I was a bit disappointed that the article was essentially a retread of the Michigan Avenue plan, but perhaps this raises public awareness of why aesthetics matter to cities, and especially struggling cities.
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