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How We Plan for Transportation

The Greater Lansing area's Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Moving Mid-Michigan, is a compilation of goals, strategies, and analyses for the region's transportation system.

It aims to improve connectivity, quality of life, safety, our economy, and the environment throughout the region. The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Tri-County or TCRPC) and its partners factor components from all modes of transportation into the planning process - explore them below!

Roadways are all around us, and they play a key role in our regional, state, and national transportation infrastructure. Tri-County collaborates with local and state officials to assess the condition of paved surface roadways every few years using a rating system called Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating, or PASER. Road ratings are then used to set priorities for maintenance and projects. The MTP includes a long-range plan for managing conditions of the local roadway system in the region.

In addition to getting us to and from work, school, or shopping, walking and bicycling provide a great outlet for exercise and recreation. There's been a push to recognize and support bicycling as an inexpensive, quick, and eco-friendly form of non-motorized travel. In an effort to make Mid-Michigan as connected as possible, the MTP includes a regional plan for non-motorized options that details specific projects, such as bike lanes, paths, and water trails, to integrate into the current transportation system. 

Congestion Management Processes (CMP) measure and diagnose the causes of traffic congestion within metropolitan areas with populations over 200,000. Our CMP is a “living” document, continually evolving throughout the planning process to address the results of performance measures, congestion data, and new objectives, goals, and concerns. Tri-County staff uses the document to identify specific areas that need improvements and suggest solutions to make traffic run more smoothly.

The Regional Transportation Safety Plan (RTSP) aims to reduce fatal and severe injury crashes within Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties. While typical plans mainly look at engineering solutions to prevent accidents, Tri-County's RTSP explores ideas from the four Es: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency Services. An analysis of historic crash data is used to determine “emphasis areas,” where safety is the worst, and that information guides the prioritization of projects that will reduce collisions.

Our region offers several local and regional bus services, including public transit, paratransit, and private provider services. These transportation services have many benefits: they directly link to the economy via businesses and access to jobs; reduce fuel consumption and your carbon footprint; and provide mobility for groups who would otherwise be restricted. The MTP reviews all transit services in the region and analyzes possibilities to enhance services and mobility options.

Our economy relies on the transportation of goods, and while freight plays a key role in the economic prosperity of our communities, it adds traffic on our highways and railroads. Federal legislation places an emphasis on freight planning, including at a regional level. The MTP analyzes the effects of freight traffic, including economic impacts, and a Regional Freight and Goods Movement Report details strategies that can improve truck routes.

Tri-County coordinates with the Capital Region International Airport (LAN) to address connectivity issues - including roads and services - as needed for smooth passenger air travel. As a regional international airport, LAN provides direct access to many of the nation’s major hub airports on a daily basis. We also study improved access for both passengers and freight into and out of the airport. The results of airport access study efforts are included in the MTP's reporting.

The MTP analyses access to passenger rail opportunities in the region. Currently, passenger rail is provided by AMTRAK via the Blue Water line, which serves the Capital Area Multimodal Gateway in East Lansing, which is operated by the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA). Passengers have daily access to trains servicing Chicago to Port Huron. Two additional daily trips are available via bus connector to the Wolverine line serving the Detroit – Chicago corridor. 

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