GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Michigan is on the road to revamping its highway system, and the Michigan Department of Transportation wants your input on how to get there.
Planners hosted public meeting Tuesday night at the MDOT Transportation Service Center on Leonard Street. The plan is to meet the state's transportation needs through the year 2035, and new legislation requires MDOT leaders to revise plans.
A number of factors are expected to cause a lot more traffic on our highways in the coming years. One big issue is a growing population; another factor is a shift in demographics. Aging baby boomers are starting to retire, and many are hitting the road for vacations.
According to MDOT, employment is also increasing and decentralizing, which is translating into longer commutes.
There are key factors MDOT is discussing. First is road quality, but they are also considering other investments, like bussing. MDOT believes more aging baby boomers will turn to public transportation.
Another cost to meet the needs of baby boomers; Larger lettering for road signs, making them easier to see.
"We have far more needs than we do funding at this time, but within the funding we have we're trying to prioritize that within the areas that we have, every existing system is a priority," says Dennis Kent, Region Transportation Planner, M-DOT Grand Region.
Leaders are asking people to give their feedback to the plans at the MDOT website. The Michigan Transportation Commission will approve a official road plan in late September.