In an effort to involve the community in the exchange of ideas and dialogue regarding bus rapid transit along the Michigan Avenue/Grand River Avenue corridor, the Capital Area Transportation Authority will host a series of charrette activities Mar. 19 - 23.
"The charrette is the beginning of a robust public-involvement component of the environmental assessment," explained CATA CEO Sandy Draggoo.
"It allows residents and other stakeholders an opportunity to share ideas and concerns, and to brainstorm design solutions for BRT, vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles traveling along the corridor."
According to the National Environmental Policy Act, an environmental assessment is required whenever an action involves federal funding or permits.
"The purpose of the environmental assessment is to evaluate and document the effects of BRT on the surrounding natural, social and economic environment," Draggoo said. "If there are any adverse impacts, the assessment will identify them as well as potential mitigation measures, and describe and analyze remaining alignment decisions."
BRT is a transportation system that operates somewhat like a light-rail system, except that it uses high-capacity buses that operate in dedicated center-running bus lanes.
The benefits of BRT include faster travel along the corridor, improved boarding efficiency and economic development.
The BRT is proposed to run between downtown Lansing and Marsh Road in Okemos, and serve the East Lansing business district and Michigan State University.
An "open design studio" will be Saturday from 10am - 6pm at the Michigan Energy Options Building in East Lansing.
There is a "work-in-progress" presentation scheduled for Sunday from 6:30pm - 9pm at the International Center on MSU's campus.