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Regional planners approve long-range draft transportation plan

By Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-881434.mp3

East Lansing, MI – The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission has approved a draft plan that addresses transportation infrastructure needs in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties through 2035.

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The plan from the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission includes some efficiency measures, like building roundabouts instead of wider streets. It also envisions more bicycle and pedestrian friendly roadways. Commissioners say a major goal is to encourage growth where public services already exist to curtail urban sprawl.

Executive director Jon Coleman says the plan gives special attention to public transit upgrades along the Michigan Avenue-Grand River Avenue corridor.

"We've learned from what's happened in other cities, it will actually generate nodes of development, because you're not stopping on every corner, you're only stopping about every half mile or so," says Coleman.

The draft plan now goes to the Federal Highway Administration, whose approval keeps the region eligible for federal grants. Final approval is expected by early March.

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