Natural Lansing: Parks, Foresty and Nature

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  • The whole bit about "we cannot afford a higher gas tax" is so misleading, because we actually cannot afford to keep repairing our cars. That is a much higher "tax". I agree with you :)

  • Yes, the current governor argued just this in her campaign. We got the numbers the other day showing that the tax would actually be less, anually, than what our average car repair bills.

    Not to get too far off subject, but even the legislature has admitted we need $2.5 billion since we've invested so little, so at least we're all in agreement on that. It's pretty obvious the governor is starting the tax out so high as a negotiation tactic. She knows as well as anyone it's not going to be 45 cents when it gets to her desk, so it was smart to start out so high given the scale of the problem.

    Personally, I'd like to see her propose a bit higher corporate taxes. Michigan now has the smallest per capita corporate tax rate in the entire region after Snyder's massive cuts in 2011. We could afford to raise them to get us at least back on parity with our neighbors. But I think she realizes that's even more of a no-go for the legislature than the regressive gas tax. I was surprised to learn that Tennessee - a very fast growing state - has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the country, so you can't really argue that a slight increase would kill us.

  • That is true! I think it would be appropriate for big corporations like GM and Granger for instance to help pay for the roads and highways that lead to their businesses. Here in Lansing, it has been reported the only 60% of our roads are in good condition. I find this fact highly ironic and sad, this our state capital we are the people who make those fancy cars, I guess for other people to drive on their town's nice roads. I am not sure I would want to drive my new Caddie or Camaro down Capitol Ave today. For some reason, the "r's" can not understand the concept that we pay more in car repairs than even a 45 cent gas tax would add up to. Why? I do not want to get too political, but I honestly think that these guys from the rural areas find pleasure[their house leader was grinning about it the other day] in the fact that the urban roads and infrastructure are crumbling while most of the country roads and highways that I have traveled are in great shape. There is this road I take through Roscommon County leading to Ogemaw County that is as smooth as an airport runway! The bad roads start almost at each city limit. My hope is that we will have a fairer election in 2020[not gerrymandered] and that we will elect people who with Governor Whitmer will address this issue.

  • edited March 19

    I'm glad to here this. The city has settled with Friends of Ormond Park, and they will complete what they promised the Friends after they essentially destroyed the park for a drive-way for Groesbeck golf course:

    Lansing settles lawsuit over road through Ormond Park. Here's what the city agreed to.

    Jamo dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice this month following approval a settlement that allowed Lansing to avoid admitting liability.

    Lansing agreed through the settlement to improvements at Ormond Park, including more trees, road signs and new playground equipment, including a basketball court.

    Some of those changes already have been implemented. The city spent about $49,000 to install the playground equipment last year, Lansing Parks and Recreation Director Brett Kaschinske said.

    They aren't really happy, and I never wanted to see the road rammed through, but at least they were able get the improvements to mitigate some of the damage.

  • It seems like the new city administration has a better attitude about these issues. I would like them to place a nicer looking gate at the entrance to the new drive. The one they have installed looks a high-security gate for a restricted area. The neighbors might like something that looks like a gate to a park and golf course.

  • I have said here before that I am skeptical about this part of the park. Hey, it could be a great success but this feature will require consent maintenance to be one. I have not been to the city beach in Detroit, do people use it? what does it look like in the cold weather seasons? I have been to the city beaches they build in the summer in Paris along the river, people there really love them. The "beaches" are seasonal and the sand is removed at summer's end. I thought it was OK but felt a little like sitting in the dirt in the middle of a city.[IMO!} The people living there like having this casual open space and flock there on hot days, and it's not really for tourist which Parisians like very much.

    The thing I find interesting about this drawing is the greenery next to and in the river. I think I read that there will be plantings along the river banks for a more naturalized look to the river, less canal-like, great for wildlife and to help clean the water.

  • Detroit is building a similar type of beach-with-no-access-to-water on its riverfront. Though the Lansing one is actually water-accessible, it will still be offset and not interrupt the shoreline.

    See the Atwater Beach section at https://www.freep.com/story/money/business/john-gallagher/2019/03/02/detroit-riverwalk-atwater-beach/3027584002/

  • Can't link it directly, since City Pulse seems to have a new layout, but this weeks addition mentions that neighbors and conservationist won the fight to get the city to reduce the footprint of the tree cutting in Scott Woods Park. It's on page 8 of the PFD version.

    If you'll remember, we discussed that they'd planned to cut right through the park to replace an aging sewer main that crosses Sycamore Creek. They originally planned a 50-foot wide cut, and now it's been reduced to 30 feet, and they got a forester to identify some prized trees to avoid cutting. They also bent the path so it doesn't look aesthetically like a straight down the line cut.

    The article does describe, however, some other methods that wouldn't have required any tree clearing. But I'm content with the compromise.

  • @MichMatters, thanks for the write-up. I messaged the director and gave some feedback on the proposals for the alternate plans. I am glad that they reduced the cutting. I have the documents but I do not know how to attach it. Anyway, I hope that they finish up the project and replant some native plants to mend the cutting.

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