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Messages - scottcanderson

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1
Corridor 20 Implementation / Try out the route and get free freeze pops!
« on: August 02, 2010, 11:14:48 am »
Hi everyone,

I'd like to get some bicyclists out on the route, to give feedback.  I can't do the whole thing :)

Judy Dowling of the Command Post, on M-19 just east of Brown City, offers free freeze pops to anybody who comes in and tells her that Scott Anderson sent them.  So try out the route and enjoy a treat!  For maps, or to send feedback, e-mail me at scottcanderson (at) earthlink (dot) net.

2
Corridor 20 Implementation / Re: Updates from all over
« on: May 05, 2010, 02:39:47 pm »
Latest approval: City of Frankenmuth.  We will be meeting soon with the Tuscola County Road Commission, and expect to soon be in touch with Frankenmuth Township.

3
Corridor 25 Implementation / Re: Michigan - Ohio rough draft
« on: March 30, 2010, 10:36:12 am »
I completely agree with you.  Of course the draft route has to be validated by the local road agencies, but the concept is spot on.  Check the USBR 20 topic for the work we've been doing along that route.  There will be several people interested in the USBR 25 route in Michigan; perhaps we should start an e-mail communication (since not everyone checks this forum every day).  If you could send me your e-mail address, mine is scottcanderson (at sign) earthlink (dot) net, I can get the interested group to start thinking along these lines.

Cheers,
Scott Anderson

4
Corridor 20 Implementation / Re: Updates from all over
« on: March 25, 2010, 01:47:06 pm »
Hi all,

We have got another resolution of support, this time from the Clare County Road Commission.  So only a couple months into the part of the project where we are seeking support, we have official resolutions or letters from the following:

City of Marine City
City of Clare
Clare County Parks and Recreation Commission
Clare County Road Commission
Village of Farwell
St. Clair County Road Commission
Osceola County Road Commission
City of Ludington
Isabella County Parks and Recreation
Isabella County Board of Commissioners

Not bad for a short time :)  We'll keep plugging away!

Scott


5
Corridor 20 Implementation / Updates from all over
« on: March 05, 2010, 09:59:26 am »
Progress continues, as we work to get local approvals.  We have been in touch with Heather Venzke of the City of Ludington with regard to the portion of the route that will coincide with USBR 35.  We have got local approvals from several communities, and all private owners of facilities along the route (the ferries at each end and the Frankenmuth Covered Bridge).

Just this week, we officially received word of the first county-level approvals.  In St. Clair County, where the route is a mixture of roads and trails, the County Road Commission approved a route on a 4-0 vote.  In Isabella County, where the route uses the Pere Marquette rail trail, the County Board of Commissioners and the County Parks and Recreation Commission approved the route.

We (myself, Kerry, Paul) will be talking about this at the Michigan Bicycle Summit in Lansing on March 27.  Go to http://www.lmb.org for details, we'd love to see everyone there!

6
Corridor 20 Implementation / The Frankenmuth covered bridge
« on: January 14, 2010, 02:03:43 pm »
One of the early changes to the route was the decision to go through the City of Frankenmuth, which is a very tourist-focused community.  As we worked through the specifics with the City and with MDOT, one interesting suggestion was to modify the route to take advantage of a very unusual facility - a privately owned covered bridge over the Cass River near two large and famous restaurants.

Since the bridge is privately owned, we had to seek permission to include it, so we got in touch with Bill Zehnder of the Bavarian Inn.  I'm happy to report the Zehnder family is happy to be a part of the project, and we will soon have a letter giving us permission to include the bridge and approaches on our route.

I'm curious if there is any other covered bridge on a USBR (existing or proposed), or are we the first?

7
Corridor 20 Implementation / Re: An Update from Scott
« on: January 13, 2010, 01:24:23 pm »
It has not been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, and this is a good thing.

I have had the pleasure of working with folks from MTGA and ACA who are actively helping with this, in addition to speaking with people from all three of the relevant MDOT region offices, who have been very helpful.

In Bay County we have made a lot of progress because of local interest.  Both MDOT's Bay Region and two people from the staff of the Bay County Road Commission have been actively involved, suggesting route modifications and putting us in touch with others.  Some of these route modifications have been controversial within the group, but to my own thinking I appreciate the road agency assistance and support, and since we absolutely have to have the approval of MDOT and the County road agencies to implement this at all, I tend to defer to their judgment.

One thing I think is important is that we keep our MDOT Bike-Ped Coordinator, Josh DeBruyn, apprised of our progress and discussions at every step.  At some times I worry that we are bombarding him with e-mails, but he knows what's going on (if he has time to slog through all our info).

We have broken the route into 5 segments, each 55 to 80 miles long, in order to be able to get our arms around the thing.  We are using Google maps to keep track.  Just for example, at the present the draft of the route in the easternmost segment is mapped here:

http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=108954390673308760542.00047b49cb1a2b9b83050&z=9

I haven't tried to post a link here before so I hope that works  :)

We will be meeting formally with the St. Clair County Road Commission (easternmost county along the route) on Feb. 2, so wish us luck.  We are starting to get in touch with all the various road commissions to apprise them of what we're up to and to solicit their input.

If anyone would like all the maps (the 5 segments, as currently drafted), shoot me an e-mail:

scottcanderson@earthlink.net

Cheers,
Scott

8
An update: since the last post, now quite a while ago, we have sent the draft route information to several communities along the route, and recently to MDOT and County Road Commission managers/engineers along the corridor.

We have received two formal resolutions of support: one from the City of Clare, and one from the City of Marine City.  In addition, the City of Frankenmuth proposed a route modification in Frankenmuth and between Frankenmuth and Vassar, and we have updated our documents to reflect that.

9
Good discussion!  A couple comments.  First, the final route selection must be approved by a state DOT, which is the only entity that can apply for designation.  Having spent some time with my own state DOT, and being somewhat familiar with a few others, I can surmise that any state DOT will only apply for designation on a route if it feels there was the proper public input.  To that end, I think Paul is right in thinking that a community-led process will have the most chance of success.

Of course the process is going to be somewhat involved; look at what we're trying to accomplish!  This won't be simple, and there will be plenty of contention along the way.

If we try to keep the forest in view - that is to say, remember that the goal is to provide good long-distance touring routes for bicyclists, and keep in mind their needs - then we are likely to produce good results, even though there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth along the way.

Scott Anderson
China Township, St. Clair County, MI

10
Regarding USBR 25 specifically, in Michigan this essentially is the "eastern shore route", from Ohio into Monroe County then through Detroit into Macomb and St. Clair County, ending who knows where, possibly up in the thumb.  Macomb County has a good opportunity to use a segment of the planned Macomb Bike Loop, which I think Todd knows about, and which we ought to discuss with John Crumm at a tavern somewhere, soon as we get the chance.  In St. Clair County, we expect USBR 25 to use segments of the County "Bridge to Bay Trail", although not exclusively since that is not complete.

The Monroe County and Wayne County portions of this route are where I have the least idea where it could go, so I'm very interested in all of this.

11
Update for everyone from more recent discussions with Tom from Wis DOT and Josh from MDOT plus the folks at MTGA:

Tom said it is "low hanging fruit" for him to get folks to work on USBR 30 in WI, though he may be able to get a route figured out along USBR 20 in the eastern segment from perhaps Green Bay to Manitowoc.  From our point of view USBR 20 is easier than 30 because it avoids all the complexity of Detroit and the 'burbs, and for other reasons.

It may be possible for us to work out a decent route from USBR 20 to Muskegon (planned western MI terminus of USBR 30) using a segment of USBR 35, so that would give us the following routing through MI-WI:

USBR 30 cross-state in WI, crossing Lake Michigan at the Milwaukee-Muskegon ferry, then north along USBR 35 in MI to USBR 20, then east to the Ontario border and on to the Trans Canada Trail.  Also, from USBR 20 at Ludington, crossing Lake Michigan at the Ludington-Manitowoc ferry, then west to Green Bay.

Eventually of course all of it will be developed, but this is a decent first cut IMO.

12
(Copy of e-mail to Ginny for anyone who wants to see it)

Ginny,

Organizationally we are set up to do 20 first and could then work on 30.  From the WI/MI viewpoint on our end it would be sufficient to get us started if WI can extend 30/66 up to Manitowoc so we have something to connect to.

Thanks,
Scott

13
Thanks Ginny for posting the first few things on this thread.  I'm registered now so can contribute directly.

One important thing for us is to allow people to get in on the ground floor.  The Michigan leg of USBR 20 goes through twelve (probably) counties, two big cities, and lots of smaller cities, villages and settlements.  Although we certainly have a route in mind, there is some politicking to do (much), and some communities will be offended or troubled if they think we have already drafted something without their input and are simply seeking their approval for a fait accompli.

The "outreach campaign" mentioned earlier is that we are going to communicate in writing (letter, the old way with an envelope and a stamp) with people in all the counties, MDOT, trail management groups and so forth, and ask for their participation in one of two ways.  (1) They can help us work from a blank map by suggesting which facilities would be optimal in their area, or (2) We can draft a proposal for bicycling through their city/village/county, and they can make suggestions from there.

It's important to understand that the hardest part of this process will be to get buy-in at the local level.  The rest of this is, in a way, easy.  So whatever we can do to remove obstacles to buy-in is very critical.  The choice I labeled as (1) above sounds a little disingenuous; of course we have routes through the state that we can drop on a map at any time.  But people need to be able to contribute, and local folks might be aware of things we don't know, so I think this has a good chance to work.

If we find this works well, we'll share all the details with everyone.  If it doesn't work well, we may ask for help :)

Scott

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