Transportation decisions are made at the local, State, and national levels. NWMCOG’s Regional Planning & Community Development Department works on behalf of its many local partners to assist with efforts around improving every mode of transportation in the region. We believe that the better the public understands the transportation decision-making process, the more certain it is that the transportation system will be safe and efficient, and that the planning process will be responsive to public needs and concerns about their communities and the natural environment.
The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG) was asked to assist MDOT in their transportation planning and outreach efforts. In February 2012, NWMCOG coordinated and provided an opportunity for local elected officials and the general public to comment on the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) in Kalkaska. Here is the presentation given by MDOT staff at this Rural Elected Officials meeting: MDOT Public Participation Summit 2012.
The majority of the NWMCOG’s Transportation planning work is divided into the following areas:
Rural Task Forces:
The Rural Task Force Program provides federal dollars to rural counties with a population under 400,000. These dollars must be spent in their geographic areas and both road and transit capital projects are eligible. In partnership with MDOT, the NWMCOG provides staffing to the three rural task forces operation in northwest lower Michigan.
-RTF 10A (Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim, and Kalkaska Counties)
-RTF 10B (Manistee, Wexford, and Missaukee Counties)
-RTF 10C (Leelanau, Benzie, and Grand Traverse Counties)
This initiative is a statewide project created and funded by Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Its purpose is to inventory and map non-motorized recreational trails. In 2005, 13 counties from the western side of MDOT’s North Region were asked to provide recreational data either by attending data collection meetings or by providing digital data. NWMCOG staff inventoried the recreational data, digitized the collected data, and used the data to create a mapping project. Maps were published as of October, 2006.
Leelanau Scenic (M-22, M-109, M-204) Heritage Route: The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning Department works with communities along the corridor in Leelanau County to implement enhancement, road safety, education, and preservation projects that fulfill the goals and objectives as stated in the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Management Plan.
M-119 Tunnel of Trees Heritage Route: The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning Department works with communities with communities along the M-119 corridor in West Traverse, Readmond, Friendship, and Cross Village Townships to implement enhancement, road safety, education, and preservation projects that fulfill the goals and objectives as stated in the M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route Management Plan.
M-37 Old Mission Peninsula Heritage Route: The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning Department works with communities with the community along the M-37 corridor in Peninsula Township to implement enhancement, road safety, education, and preservation projects that fulfill the goals and objectives as stated in the Old Mission Scenic Heritage Route Plan.
The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning Department works with MDOT and individual county road commissions towards the implementation of asset management statewide to enhance the productivity of investing in Michigan’s roads and bridges through coordination and collaboration among state and local transportation agencies.
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Liaison:
NWMCOG Regional Planning staff communicates with MDOT, and coordinates and facilitate projects and provide data and technical assistance to local communities through a distinct Annual Transportation Work Plan established with MDOT. Special projects may include corridor studies, access management studies, HPMS Program (traffic counts), grant writing, program guidance, and other technical assistance. Some examples of this work includes:
The Grand Vision Transportation Network: In support of the Grand Vision, TC-TALUS and the NWMCOG provide staffing support to the Grand Vision Housing Solutions Network. More information can be found by clicking here.
TC-TALUS Technical Committee: For more information on Transportation Planning in northwest lower Michigan, please feel free to read and download the NWMCOG’s “Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Planning”- it can be found here.