A citizen organization with a vision and a plan for
sustainable, transit-oriented development in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
Wake Up Washtenaw's most complete description of goals is contained in the "White Paper", which has gone through several drafts. The final version (1.0) is available in the Plan Overview section of this site, both as a PDF and as a series of Web pages.
$812 or $9,743 annually
(Figures as of 2013-06-26)
The national average of what people save if they give up a car and use public transportation, calculated by APTA based on AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report for June 26, 2013, is up a bit since we last checked, but fuel in Michigan is in the highest national price bracket ($3.746 and up).
Though the cost for Southeast Michigan isn't listed, other Great Lakes metros are shown here, along with the Midwest average:
|City||Monthly Savings||Annual Savings|
We seek to bring together people and enterprises to ...
- Develop communities that are attractive,
- Use the most environmentally friendly technologies,
- Provide meaningful alternatives to automobile transportation,
- Offer a range of housing options,
- Let residents walk to shops, schools, transit, worship, and entertainment,
- ...and make a profit doing it.
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is an area of compact development, incorporating commercial, residential and professional uses, within walking distance of a major transit stop, that facilitates walking and transit use. The urban design focuses on the pedestrian over the automobile.
What is "sustainable development"?
The simplest, most forceful and practical definition of sustainable development is from the World Commission on Environment and Development (The Brundtland Commission report):
- Housing development will happen in Washtenaw County. The county is projected to grow by 25,000 residents by the year 2020, even though other parts of Michigan are losing population.
- Sprawl development is not sustainable. It is too costly to the environment, and too costly to residents who must drive to work, shop, and play.
- Gen-Xers and Millenials are disenchanted with suburbia, and want real communities - ones that are kind to the environment.
- Boomers are beginning to retire, are fed up with having to drive everywhere, and are increasingly unable to drive as they age.
- The increasing cost of energy makes more efficient transportation a necessity for many Americans. Rail-based transportation is the most efficient per passenger-mile.
- Michigan needs a new approach to meet the challenges of post-industrial era realities.
- And the increasing cost of energy means "green" enterprises will be the ones that profit most.
Encourage sustainable redevelopment
- Wake more Washtenaw County citizens up to the need to focus most of our development into existing urban areas;
- Inform the people of Washtenaw County about the role of transportation in community growth and the benefits of planning communities around public transit;
- Promote investment in public transit rather than increased investment in automobile-oriented facilities such as parking structures;
- Support efforts to turn decaying strip developments into lively communities that incorporate living space in walking distance from shops, offices, and transit.
Show the way for sustainable new development
- Unite citizens, enterprises, and environmental groups, to ...
- Build a demonstration community,
- Using compact, energy-efficient, and attractive design;
- Sited along an existing railroad running through Ann Arbor,
- Connected by frequent, affordable rail transit to Ann Arbor and surrounding areas,
- To serve as a model of what can be done,
- Using only private, for-profit funding; and,
- Develop similar communities when the first has demonstrated its merits.