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Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County voice opposition to I-75 and I-94 expansion plans

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County officials have come out in opposition to two major highway expansion projects in Southeast Michigan — the reconstruction and widening of Interstate 94 in Detroit and Interstate 75 in Oakland County.

Both projects — which are expected to cost more than $4 billion — are slated to begin in 2014 and 2015, respectively.


The proposed widening of I-94 in Detroit and I-75 in Oakland County has drawn scrutiny from advocates of public transit who call the $4 billion projects wasteful and burdensome.

MLive file photo

The Ann Arbor City Council and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners both passed resolutions objecting to inclusion of the projects in the region's official transportation plans.

The two projects are part of $50 billion in projects in the Southeast Michigan Council of Government's 2040 Regional Transportation Plan and its 2014-17 Transportation Improvement Plan.

SEMCOG's general assembly is expected to vote at 4:30 p.m. today, June 20, to approve the two plans at a public meeting in Detroit.

SEMCOG's executive committee voted to approve the plans at its May 16 meeting, but the vote wasn't unanimous, The Detroit News reported.

Executive committee member Yousef Rabhi, chairman of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, voted against them, saying the state can't maintain the infrastructure it already has, so it shouldn't be spending money on expanding highways. Rabhi said he will vote against the plans again but he still expects them to pass, The News reported.

SEMCOG Executive Director Paul Tait told The News his agency's vote is important because the action taken by SEMCOG will make the projects eligible for state and federal funding.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje and fellow City Council members unanimously passed a resolution this week opposing inclusion of the highway expansion projects in the 2040 long-range plan.

They argue SEMCOG's proposed plan has many good elements — including support for nonmotorized transportation, public transit, pavement maintenance and repair, and sustainability enhancements — but too much money is going to the expansion of I-94 and I-75.

Communities across Southeast Michigan face a shortage of funds to maintain and repair existing roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure, the resolution states, adding there are more than $82 million worth of unfunded high-priority projects in Washtenaw County.

Ann Arbor officials are asking that the money programmed for the two highway expansion projects be redirected to preventive maintenance and rehabilitation of existing roads and bridges.

MLive reported widening I-94 from Conner Street to I-96 in Detroit would take the stretch from six lanes to eight and cost about $2.7 billion, while adding a lane to I-75 between 8 Mile Road and M-59 in Oakland County would cost about $1.3 billion.

Transportation for America, a coalition working on transportation reform, released a report this week indicating Michigan has more than 1,300 bridges rated "structurally deficient" — bridges that could become dangerous or closed without repair, including 17 percent of Washtenaw County bridges. About 12.3 percent of bridges statewide are rated "structurally deficient," according to government standards, slightly above the 11 percent national average, according to the report.

The report is based on a national database of bridge inspections maintained by the Federal Highway Administration. While the Michigan Department of Transportation and local officials have been working to make improvements, moving nearly 100 bridges off the structurally deficient list in the past two years, the group argues progress is hindered by lack of funding.

"Bridge projects are continuously delayed and deferred because there are simply not enough resources to meet our needs," said Ryan Buck, director of the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, the agency responsible for overseeing transportation funding in Washtenaw County.

Buck noted that more than 20 percent of bridges under the jurisdiction of the Washtenaw County Road Commission have posted weight restrictions, in addition to two bridges that are closed.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

I am shocked - shocked, I tell you! How can it be that others in SE MI fail to recognize Ann Arbor's primacy as the center of the universe. Don't they realize that the little city's needs always come FIRST?! Reality check, Hieftjeites!

walter mitchell 38

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

first time posting that being said.. if lived or driven through those two proposed intersections they need the expansion I used to live in the I-75 area and I can attest to the NEEDED widening of that stretch. Ann arbors traffic can be bad but you have the over flow of two major intersections 2 freeways and countless other mile traffic stemming onto that highway. and I don't know the car counts as far as amount of traffic but my guess is that 75 corridor probably takes more traffic than the mentioned congestion spots here in Ann a Arbor daily


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

The planned construction routes are both deserving of being widened and redone, as are the ones here in the center of the universe that people have been discussing.

Sandra Samons

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

At peak traffic times, I-94 around A2 is total gridlock! But the mayor opposes widening I-94, just as he would rather spend $ on narrowing one of the main arteries into downtown instead of fixing the curb lanes to facilitate smooth movement of traffic. Little wonder that Ann Arborites are dissatisfied with local government!

Roger Kuhlman

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Yes we have an overpopulation problem and the Mayor of AA and his liberal buddies want to add more people and economic growth here

Laura Jones

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

So if I am getting everyone's comments the gist of it all is that we need to raise taxes to fix the crumbling infrastructure before it kills someone, then to improve it with more lanes on the highway and a better commuting options. Right? Since no one will vote for more taxes, looks like its time for toll roads.

Roger Kuhlman

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

We should not be diverting scarce federal transportation funds to building second, unneeded bridges to Canada in Detroit when we have existing transportation infrastructure that needs to be maintained or rebuilt


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

I appreciate the comment about induced demand... It's counter intuitive, but it makes sense and is shown to be true... Road Diets improve quality of life for everyone.. It's like people have forgotten that at some point they are walkers as well.. it's not like it's car people vs. walkers.. What I really meant to emphasize, is the serious traffic problem along Main St... it appears to back up near those expanded sidewalks where people sit and eat...It's right between Main and William and Main and Huron.... who do these people think they are? I have an appointment and places to get to and I'm in my car and all these people are sitting near the road, just sitting there..... eating... Such a sense of entitlement.. Urgh, they're probably rich U of M students who's mommy and daddy gave them all the money to eat alongside my road....They're even parking along side main st or behind the buildings... (Like you can get a space there, they need to just build parking lots in front... After all, you park in parking lots people... and I expect the parking lot to be right in front of everything so I can get to the store easily... I have to get where I need to go... and I hate traffic... Anyway, Usually I'll avoid this "Main St" route because I am forced to drive too slow and it takes like 60 seconds longer to get anywhere..... so something needs to be done about this area... maybe we can take out some of the sidewalks and just expand the lanes more, after all, there needs to be more signs, more turn signals, a wider place to turn, and more lines in the road. Oh, and my taxes are way too high.... Urgh, This is such a waste.. It's the City Council's fault and their walking agenda...... If they had their way there would be more people walking around, eating, shopping, and spending time enjoying their lives and connecting with their community.... I just want to get from point A to point B as quick as possible... is that too much to ask?


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

What about the bikes, Steve? What about the bikes? They're everywhere!

Roger Kuhlman

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

More laughable environmental posturing from the Ann Arbor City council and its Mayor. Is anybody really buying their sincerity? After all these are the same folks who want to build a second wasteful and unneeded bridge to Canada in Detroit and boost Ann Arbor's and the region's human population through both legal and illegal immigration.

Roger Kuhlman

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Usage statistics show that a second bridge is not needed. I guess facts and the truth don't matter to some people


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

Apparently you do not use the Ambassador Bridge very often


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

I say take these funds and fix all of the roads that everyone has been complaining about, instead of having the government raise our gasoline taxes, registration fees, etc.

Duc d'Escargot

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

The I-94 project would, among other things, improve the dangerously short on-ramps in the urban area, which have been obsolete for decades. This isn't about expanding freeways in order to encourage sprawl; it has to do with upgrading existing ones. It goes without saying that the freeways around Ann Arbor are also obsolete and not capable of handling the traffic volume; they need improvements just as badly as the other freeways do. I'm disappointed that Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County are trying to represent these projects as "expanding" the freeways when that's not really the case.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 6:02 a.m.

The biggest issue I see with SEMCOG's plan is it doesn't deal with the two expressways that need to be widened the MOST. I-94 from M-14 to US-23 needs to be 3 lanes each direction, and possibly 4 lanes from US-23 to State St. US-23 really needs to be 3 lanes each direction from at least Michigan Ave all the way north to I-96 in Brighton, and possibly 4 lanes each direction just north of the M-14 - US-23 interchange at the western most junction.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

On the US-23 Front you can thank Governor Granholm for turning the project down, focusing instead on fixing roads. I doubt the project will be returned to the table for another decade, since it was approved all the way to the Governor and she killed it.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:59 a.m.

Well, it is ironic the Ann Arbor government has no problem wasting money for their own pet projects (stadium bridge, city hall, parking garage, ...), but get all fiscally responsible when others do the same. Way to lead by following.

Roger Kuhlman

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Steve, more and ever-continuing economic growth in Washtenaw County means more suburban and exurban spraw and more environmental degradation. Is that what you want in our future?


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

Your statement proves that the city wants and cars about cars to a reasonable extent, but it wants a diversity of transit options... After all, people value choices.... If the state wanted Ann Arbor roads to be widened I'm sure the council would vote against it... I think you just like to complain about the council... they seem like they're doing a pretty decent job, considering they rarely get constructive advice on how to improve.... Car lovers (they repair the sprawling infrastructure as much as possible and try to prioritize by safety and practicality.. If they didn't repair the stadium bridge and it collapsed.... and you know longer had Stadium Blvd as a connected east west option..... I"m sure you would blame the city council for that too... You can't point out solutions to some people because they just look for others to criticize instead of engaging in productive dialogue... Solution:: Build more dense areas outside of downtown (residential over our existing retail locations) to help the tax base, stop the development of farms and tracks of land on the outside of the city...and have less roads to maintain........ Instead of just complaining.. look for solutions...

Steve Bean

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

Neither will happen. The stock market topped last month (with crash likely to come in mid to late 2014, bottom in mid 2016). The decline in invested public funds, followed by a decline in property values over the next 1-3 years won't leave enough to cover the expense. Traffic will decline as well as the unemployment rate climbs, so it won't matter. Interestingly, gasoline prices are falling again after the recent spike, but it will be less affordable for most in a few years even at lower prices. Of course, there's always the chance that the feds will do it anyway to create jobs, like the Chinese did when they built their roads to nowhere and empty apartment buildings.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

You're always so full of good cheer, and impending doom

Vince Caruso

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

AA and the county need to de-find SMCOG for being totally out of touch with the new reality. Let's take a vote on it. Just think of all the constructive work we could do with these funds. We have robbed the urban centers to subsidize suburbia. Moving farther out is no longer even a choice for the ignorant. Enough!

Vince Caruso

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

That's de-fund SMCOG

Basic Bob

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

Let's take a look at what Washtenaw County's thought leaders came up with for transportation projects: 29 transit projects, 45 reconstruction projects, 3 roundabouts, 3 studies of S. State and Ellsworth, and a new cut-through between S. State and S. Main. I'd be mad, too, if I got all these things on the list and nothing else. But this is what they asked for. When we see the list of most dangerous intersections and major roads which are under capacity, why don't they appear on Washtenaw's list of improvements now or in the future? Instead we get a 4-lane boulevard from Upper Saline to the mall, which did not make the top 100 dangerous intersections and serves only local traffic. Give them a bus route like everyone else.

Basic Bob

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

Only one widening project in Washtenaw County in the next 30 years. And it's a new one that was never on the older lists. What changed?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Right now with the problems the schools are facing and with the road deterioration. Schools seem to out weight the roads. Even though you need the roads to get to school. Interesting conundrum.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

What we really need is to replace all the interstates in SE Michigan with Choo-Choo tracks and bike lanes, that would be the Ann Arbor City Council and Washtenaw County Board's way of dealing with it. Each Choo-Choo would have ride on compartments for bikes, and the riders could wheel off the Choo-Choo's at each whistle as the train slowed to 10 MPH, giving the bike riders a slight boost as they exited. Yeah, that's the ticket. Of course the Choo-Choo's would be subsidized with Wind Turbine Power from Pioneer High School's Turbines


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

"Of course the Choo-Choo's would be subsidized with Wind Turbine Power from Pioneer High School's Turbines" ... as well as all the hot air emanating from the Hieftjeites in Hieftje Hall!

shadow wilson

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

love it


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

With motorists paying 3 times more money in tax than the oil companies make in profit, how is it even possible that the roads can't bee adequately maintained? Oh yeah -- we want to pay for unemployed guy's cable TV. We want people to be able to use a bridge card to gamble. You know. Priorities.


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

Yeah, I lumped everything into one bucket, but that just reflects that it's the same mentality making these decisions at all levels of government.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 10:56 a.m.

Julius, This is a good question.... The answer is that the Federal Gov't has given money to the states (and thus local municipalities) to build roads and infrastructure, but once built, they expect the state and municipalities to maintain it... which they can't afford to because they were given too much (from big govt.) The feds subsidized the sprawling infrastructure of suburban sprawl and now the states have been left with the bill... People are now forced to rely on cars and are dependent on gas and oil companies... Without alternatives and density... when one domino falls... the others will too... that is why we're in the middle east since the 1970's... to preserve our right to build suburbs, widen roads, and drive everywhere.... You can't blame the oil companies anymore when you willingly participate in the commute to work scheme...

Joe Hood

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

leaguebus: if people all drove electric cars on the expanded highways, would you see the issue differently. Of course there are no road taxes on electric cars...


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

Poor Big Oil! The top five integrated oil and gas companies earned nearly $120 billion in profits last year. Despite ranking as some of the most successful companies in the world, big oil and gas companies continue to receive $4 billion in tax breaks each year. The oil and gas industry has already given over $30.5 million in federal campaign contributions this year, with a whopping 88 percent going to Republicans. Big Oil has spent an additional $70 million on lobbying Congress this year, with the top spenders being Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Koch Industries and BP. $4B is a lot of bridge cards and cable tv.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:01 p.m.

Of course our local politicians are against Interstates. They don't allow bikes.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

I would love to see a biker on I 94. Now that would be interesting.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

I expect to hear howls of indignation when the other counties return the favor and vote against spending in Washtenaw County.

An Arborigine

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

and this is new?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

Maybe the city and the u-m can explain why it is okay to build up, but not out.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Not surprising the mayor and his council are against new and improved roads. Just take a spin around Ann Arbor and you'll understand why.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Our city officials like the road diet idea. Less is more so they would actually like to add bike lanes on our freeways ad reduce the traffic to a single lane like they are planning to do on some of our busiest roads. They love that calming effect it has on traffic.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

The article specifically states that the Ann Arbor officials would rather the money be "redirected to preventive maintenance and rehabilitation of existing roads and bridges."

Ed Kimball

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

That's true. If we can get the money, they'd rather spend the money on repairing what we have.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

Meaningless resolutions and all, when you leave the wonderful land of Oz prepare for a reality check.

Steuart C. White

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

The amount of money it would take to establish a useable commuter train system with the other necessary public transit support(buses etc) is a fraction of the four Billion proposed merely to upgrade two highways. Public transit, Specifically commuter rail in never free and never self supporting it always must be underwritten out of general funds It is however the least expensive way of moving large numbers of commuters


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

I think I'll keep this in mind the next time the gas tax discussion comes up. We can't afford to maintain the roads we have, but we can burn $4 billion to turn 6-lane expressways into 8-lane.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:02 a.m.

Local municipalities can't maintain the infrastructure without raising taxes like crazy....... small localities are the only ones responsible for their budgets it seems.... cities as for money from the states as much as possible... and the states beg the big govt for $$.... everything is going fine until the ponzi scheme collapses....

you can't handle the truth

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

Expand I94 here. It is a joke. That entrance ramp from State Street is ridiculous and has a daily smashup. The moron who designed that must have thought we were going back to the Model T or the horse and buggy.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

Where is the obligatory comment accusing Rick Snyder of widening the freeways to line the pockets of his rich friends?

Basic Bob

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

lining the pockets of ungrateful union construction workers, no doubt

An Arborigine

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

you just made it, thanks.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

Fix the 94 and 23 intersection...thats a lot of money for a city that is losing lots of people..


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:08 a.m.

Losing people? Really? But I agree, they need to fix the roads.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

More lanes for more cars is wrong anywhere. We don't need more cars, we need higher density vehicles, trains, buses, light rail, etc.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:10 a.m.

We can't afford to maintain the physical bridges and roads we have... We've been given money to build these things... but not the money to maintain them.... The more people commute from where they live.... and live further out of town... creates this cycle of more expensive infrastructure... that is why downtown development is important because the city received way more in tax funds than it does the $$$$ it costs to pay for the sewers, garbage, pipes in the other sections of town..... Denser areas pay for less dense areas....because the cost of infrastructure is the same for both areas... but revenue coming in downtown areas.. and people who don't commute on these huge highways.... Living and Working locally in A2 benefits the tax base substantially.... If you commute, that's fine... I"m just recently begun understanding this whole issue... it's all connected.... and if you want traffic to flow smoothly everywhere you drive, then that is truly OZ.....


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

Yes, we need all of the above as you mention for better means of transportation. Like it or not, there will always be more cars, that's because the population keeps rising. Adding more lanes across on I 94 and US 23 across Ann Arbor will help and I'd really like to see 4 lanes in each direction. Should have been done a decade ago.

shadow wilson

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

no we dont

Kyle Mattson

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

As a little sidebar to this story, a road that I know a number of people that live/work in A2 drive everyday, I-96 between Newburgh Road to Telegraph Road will be closed completely in 2014 for reconstruction:

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

It's gonna be a heckofa project - watch as EB M-14 backs up for miles at the I-275 junction, esp. at AM and PM rush hours.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

Might be a good as time as any to look for Hoffa. That's the stretch of x-way they started pouring the day after he disappeared. Of course, if you believe in conspiracy theories, maybe that's why they are rebuilding it.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

Holy, no Oh. Autocorrect. ..


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

Oh Toledo, Batman! That closure will be a nightmare.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

Widening highways solves *nothing*. It's been proven time and again. What a waste of money.


Sat, Jun 22, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

Come on, CC, those aren't the only ways. Widening highways solves the congestion problem, if you don't do it just part way. I GUARANTEE you that if we had twelve I-94 lanes in each direction, there would be no congestion at rush hour or any other time. While that would be a foolish use of scarce resources, widening the highway by enough certainly does solve the problem.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 1 a.m.

@Joe Hood: When they introduced I94, lots of development sprung up to take advantage of it, so of course you wouldn't take it out now. But, widening it would not reduce congestion, it would simply induce demand as future building patterns and house-buying patterns took advantage of the added capacity until it was just as congested as it is currently (which represents what people are willing to tolerate in commutes).


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:37 a.m.

Whether widening works or not depends on the problem you're trying to solve. If it's simply a matter of congestion, then yes, widening doesn't help. But in the case of I-94 I've seen too many backups caused by one semi traveling at 60 mph being passed by one going 62 mph. Having an extra lane would let all the cars behind them trying to go the speed limit to pass while they do their thing.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

You guys are right, in fact, we should do away with the 4 lane interstate and highway through Ann Arbor, and make it a 2 lane road with traffic lights and change Washtenaw to a one lane road that both directions share. Remember, it doesn't matter how big the road is, right?

Joe Hood

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

C.C.: So if I94 was a one lane dirt road, there would be no change in traffic? There must be a balance at some point.

C.C. Ingersoll

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:18 p.m. and: It's a scientific FACT -- not an opinion. Widning roads does nothing but encourage more people to drive during peak times. The only way to decrease traffic during peak congestion is to encourage people to take other, less used, routes; or use alternate methods of transportation. Remember "Carmaggeddon" in Los Angles? When they closed the I-405 for 2 days and everyone thought it would be a catastrophe? What happened? Nothing much... because people took other routes or simply decided to drive or take trips at other non-peak times of the day BECAUSE of the congestion. LA used those 2 days to widen the roads and... now it STILL takes 1 hour+ to get to downtown LA


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Please point out the "proof" of this? It should be easy, since it has been proven "time and again".


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

"About 12.3 percent of bridges statewide are rated "structurally deficient," according to government standards, slightly above the 11 percent national average, according to the report." Using these figures, Michigan has about 12% more bridges than the average which are structurally deficient; whether or not this is "slight" is debatable.

John of Saline

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

Voting against road improvements outside your area of influence isn't going to endear yourselves to the surrounding communities. It looks selfish.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

This for I75?: from 8 Mile to M-59 Widen to 4 lanes in both directions, reconstruct interchanges and this for I94? from I-96 to Connor Widen to 4 lanes in both directions, reconstruct interchanges Seriously? Tough luck, you WILL lose. Mostly because it is the right thing to do.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8 p.m.

cali, east coast, and chicago all have alternative transportation too. Apparently that dosent help alleviate congestion either


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

nope - not any more - a 10 min inconvenience a day is worthwhile. Visit California , east coast, and Chicago. No amount of road widening helps.

Top Cat

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

Why spend money on highways when we can spend it on new concepts of running half empty trains from no place to somewhere.

Laura Jones

Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

So the trains will not be empty and the roads less congested?

Bob Zuruncol

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

Apparently hasn't occurred to you that w/o trains the highways are more congested. Amtrak's Wolverine passenger train line from Chicago to Detroit had an increased ridership of 11.9 percent to 46,754 passengers in March, which was a record month in ridership for the company. Total Amtrak ridership grew 1.9 percent to 2,816,154 passengers in March, compared with March 2012. In the first six months of its 2013 fiscal year – from October 2012 to March 2013 – Amtrak ridership was up 0.9 percent to 15,092,044 passengers.

John of Saline

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

...with "artwork" at evenly-spaced intervals.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

The Ann Arbor City Council and Mayor are against anything car. However, If the money was used to calm the highway traffic (i.e. reduce the lanes, lower the speed limit and create as much standstill traffic as possible) and put bike lanes in the elected officials may change their stances

An Arborigine

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 8 p.m.

Bravo @deb, AA would prefer to impede traffic and make it stop every twenty feet for "non-motorized" transport. What the heck ever happened to crossing at the light with the walk/don't walk signal? AA pedestrians can't be bothered with that inconvenience, heavens no!


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

I guess that is why they built so many parking garages downtown?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

Maybe there is a state you can move to - called Calfornia. I do not wish to live there, why bring that mindset here. If you wish to live in a car centric place - I will give you several - Novi, Livonia, Troy. They are beautiful location. If you wish to race ,please live somewhere else.

Alex Swary

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Screw Detroit, let's have them widen 94 here in Ann Arbor. Yeesh.


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 11:26 a.m.

I feel so bad for those people who choose to commute... If you have a job not in Ann Arbor... then you can choose to commute... or choose to relocate next to where you work.. Since when are you afforded free flowing traffic? If you add a lane, more people will use it... and you'll get traffic once again..... If you add extra bandwidth to your internet connection... you'll be more likely to use your internet to download/stream full length HD MOVIES.. where if you only had a certain amount, or low bandwidth.. you'd use the internet for mostly txt and pictures... limiting the amount you downloaded.......


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

I agree! 7-9 AM 94 W bound between 23 and State is just a parking lot. It's absurd! Every day! And now with the construction it's even WORSE! Give us one more lane! Please!


Fri, Jun 21, 2013 : 12:05 a.m.

23 and 94 NEED to be 4 lanes, Washtenaw should also be bumped up to 6 lanes with expanded dedicated turn lanes. Only those who don't have to work are apposed, but those same people are against everything towards progress.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

EDIT: I-94 or US23 should not be 4 lanes through Ann Arbor.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

"Take a chill pill every morning so that you do not have to do 880 mph" Actually I only drive 70mph or below. The problem is one fender bender (on US23 or I-94) and all of a sudden traffic is delayed and backed up for miles. Not to mention all of the lost productivity costs associated with those delays besides the fuel and emissions all because of a fender bender that was most likely caused by some moron not paying attention.. I-94 or US23 should not be 2 lanes through Ann Arbor.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

Once a WEEK and that's grounds to spent hundreds of millions on a highway expansion?? Math problem of the day: how many cars would have to idle for how many hours to consume as much fuel as expanding the highway?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

I agree. I only drive roughly 6 miles (12-mile round trip) a day on I-94 and I'm stuck in a traffic jam at least once a week. All of those cars wasting all of that fuel, burning all of those emissions. You'd think Ann Arbor would be all for it. But if the mayor and city council had their way, they'd ban all motor vehicles in Ann Arbor.