Journalism at Michigan State University

Road work adds to the headaches of suburban Detroit commuters

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Some say that in Michigan that there are two seasons: winter and construction. There seems to be construction everywhere you turn around the Metro Detroit area. The newest project in the area is the construction on Hall Road or M-59 throughout Macomb County. The project was announced in early February and is said to be a two-year plan to improve road conditions and access to restaurants and businesses.

Map of #8 bus schedule taken fromhttps://www.cata.org/Routes-Schedules/Find-Bus-by-Schedule/08/04-06-2017/0

Where’s CATA in Holt?

An ongoing concern in Holt for residents is the lack of public transportation dependability in the community.The Capital Area Transportation Authority also known as the CATA is the public transit system that operates through Holt. Residents say that they spend hundreds of dollars a month on Ubers, Lyfts, and other forms of transportation. Residents are having several continuing issues with the CATA from there not being enough buses that run through Holt; buses are not getting to the stops on time; and there have been cases where the bus allegedly simply does not show up. Douglas Lecato, CATA Board of Directors Vice Chair for Delhi Township says that he is aware of these issues and that the CATA executive staff along with the board are working to fix these problems as soon as possible by hiring more drivers. According to Jasmine Roy, there is only one bus that comes to Holt which is the #8 Pennsylvania-Holt bus. Roy says that the #8 CATA only goes down some streets and she has had to get off at on stop and almost walk a mile to her destination.

A car drives down South Waverly Road past a busy intersection located in Lansing Township. Photo by Hannah Holliday.

Accidents happen. Even in Lansing Township

With the further advancement of technology, drivers behind the wheel are now more distracted than ever and even in the small community of Lansing Charter Township, accidents happen. According to the Lansing Township’s Citizens Guide and Performance Dashboard, in 2014, there was a total of 469 non-injury crashes, 128 injury crashes and zero fatal crashes. However, Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said township roads for the most part don’t see a lot of hazardous driving. “In the Lansing area I haven’t seen much of that,” Hayes said in regards to crazy driving. “We do have accidents like every other place but I can’t say with certainty that consistently on x amount of roads here, there are people speeding or driving reckless.

Fiscal Budget for 2016-2017 for the City of Lansing based on a $199.7 million dollars

Public safety, public works dominate Lansing’s city budget

Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.

Time run's out on meter before owner can return to pay again.

Downtown parking rates subject to a July 1 review

Whether it be a regular weekday or a special event like this most recent St. Patrick’s Day, parking in downtown has proven to be affordable and plentiful. With the implementation of pay -y-plate parking meters in recent years, by the Lansing Parking Services Department, the city continues to make an effort to simplify parking for citizens while effectively eliminating the old-school coin meters. Aside from the high-tech improvements a significant amount of parking lots and garages that offer convenient and economical options. “At times it can be a bit difficult finding a parking spot at one of the meters, but there are also parking lots available with plenty of spaces,” said Mrs. L. Vinson, a state employee.” “I work downtown and pay a monthly fee to have designated parking in a lot with in and out privileges.”

However good the prices or availability may be, there is still one problem that persists.

Williamston roads

Poor road conditions impact local communities

With winter quickly coming to an end, Michigan’s residents face with new hazards as the roads continue to deteriorate. Alan Dolley, the city manager of Williamston, said it is concerning to see the city’s roads degrading every year. “The funding just isn’t there,” said Dolley. “When I talk about road repairs in the city of Williamston, it’s not just the surface of the road but it is also the structures underneath the roads.”

You can listen to the full interview with Dolley below. https://soundcloud.com/troy-rose-283533318/recording

The renovation to completely fix Williamson’s roads would cost approximately half a million dollars, but Dolley said it is impossible right now for the city to get this whole amount at once.

Parking is available along the streets in Old Town, including Turner Street (pictured). Photo by Kaley Fech.

Old Town facing an old issue: problems with parking

Anyone who has ever been to a city has more than likely experienced the frustrations that come with trying to find parking. This problem is not isolated to bigger cities; even smaller communities experience such issues. More than likely, any place that attracts larger numbers of people will face struggles when it comes to parking. Old Town is no exception. During her day job, Jamie Schriner-Hooper, president of the board of directors for the Old Town Commercial Association, works in communities across the state.

One of the potholes on Townsend Street. Photo by Lukas Eddy

Lousy roads can cost Lansing residents more than just taxes

You’re driving to work with your eyes peeled for texting teenagers, but in the dim morning light you can’t make out a new pothole before it swallows one of your front wheels in a single, expensive blow. Similar experiences can cost other Lansing residents anywhere from $60 to over $800 for repairs ranging from front end alignments to new wheel replacements and more. Potholes can be the results of salting the roads over winter and harsh fall and spring refreezing conditions. In extremely low winter temperatures road salt loses it’s effectiveness, so the melted ice water that flows into small cracks in the pavement can freeze and expand, weakening the road structure. In the fall and spring when temperatures fluctuate around the freezing point, water flows into small spaces where it freezes and expands, damaging the road.