Ann Arbor area residents invited to help map Michigan’s future rail system

http://www.annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-area-residents-invited-to-help-map-michigans-future-rail-system/

Posted: Dec 1, 2010 at 8:04 AM [Dec 1, 2010]

Ann Arbor area residents are being asked to give their input on what Michigan’s future passenger rail system should look like and how it should operate.

Would Southeast Michigan benefit from a modern commuter rail system — one linking Ann Arbor and Detroit? Similarly, should the state continue pushing ahead with plans for a high-speed rail corridor between Detroit and Chicago?

A “Michigan By Rail” public forum will be held from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 9 at Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 E. Huron River Dr.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, and other elected officials are expected to attend and discuss all things rail with members of the public.

Sponsors of the forum include the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers and Michigan Municipal League.

The Ann Arbor forum is the latest in a series of forums being held across the state as the Michigan Department of Transportation works to put together a statewide rail plan, according to the Michigan By Rail website.

The forums, including the one in Ann Arbor, are not official input sessions of MDOT, but rather are being held in an effort to engage citizens in discussions about their vision for the state’s passenger and freight rail systems, according to organizers.

Next week’s forum will include an overview of the existing system, an interactive rail mapping session, discussion of financing issues and a big-picture vision of the future of Michigan’s railroad system. Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at ryanstanton@annarbor.com or 734-623-2529.

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