Summary of Public Hearing Comments

The following comments reflect the depth and breadth of the views heard from the public during the June 13-16, 2005, hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. They do not indicate the frequency of any particular comment. It is recommended that the complete transcript, including written comments received from coordinating agencies, trade organizations, governmental agencies, advocacy groups and others be reviewed for a complete analysis.

  • The Memorandum of Understanding with the railroads needs to involve local agency oversight.
  • MDOT should fund a staff person to liaison with local agencies and governmental units.
  • The DIFT should be part of an area-wide comprehensive strategic investment initiative.
  • Question the need for the project and improved benefits.
  • Entities must be held accountable.
  • Project moves us in the wrong direction.
  • Taking homes and businesses from the only growing area of Detroit does not make sense.
  • The area does not want more trucks.
  • The area has the highest levels of particulate matter in Michigan; we don't need more.
  • The DEIS has failed to study the potential public health impacts.
  • Alternatives 3 and 4 will increase truck traffic in Dearborn because there currently are no gates on the west side of Livernois-Junction yard and gates are planned that would handle 60 to 86 percent of the trucks.
  • Closing Lonyo will interfere with community cohesion.
  • No Action alternative is not an option; this would leave it to the private sector with no government regulation and no chance for community input.
  • Alternative 4 is the best of all of them, although more dialogue is needed.
  • A Community Benefits Agreement is needed to ensure oversight of an economic strategy.
  • The yard perimeter must be buffered to meet community standards.
  • There must be only two points of entry; the one on Dix and Waterman is not acceptable.
  • Air and noise monitoring need to be ongoing, with established levels and remediation measures when they are exceeded.
  • Entrances on Livernois and Wyoming will keep trucks off the residential streets.
  • The poor conditions of the viaducts, flooding and lighting needed to be addressed.
  • The cumulative effects from other projects need to be considered; there needs to be a comprehensive assessment of all major transportation related projects on the area.
  • Jobs created at the terminal need to be offered to local residents who are trained.
  • The roads, which have been abused by truck traffic, need to be brought up to standards.
  • There need to be provisions for maintaining the roads after they have been built.
  • Alternative 4 is a step in the right direction, but there needs to be a lot more dialogue.
  • Commend MDOT for including a public project governing structure in the DEIS: there needs to be local community representatives on that board.
  • There should be no expansion of the Junction yard whatsoever, but there should be improved safety, removal of trucks from neighborhoods, reduced pollution burdens and enhanced community cohesion.
  • Southwest Detroit already bears a disproportionate burden in air pollution problems.
  • MDOT's assessment is based on future diesel engine technology and improvements; assessment should include potential impacts if industry fails to achieve new standards.
  • New diesel standards were developed to improve air quality, not to accommodate more trucks.
  • You cannot mitigate people's health by offering them some possibility of a job.
  • There needs to be an assessment of what the annual salaries will be for the jobs involved.
  • The burden caused by satellite businesses needs to be evaluated as well.
  • As one of the first "Cool Cities," southwest Detroit needs to continue working with MDOT and other state agencies
  • We need to get a win-win situation with the state, with the big businesses.
  • Central needs to be wider than two lanes or keep Lonyo open to handle the flow.
  • Opposed to moving forward with the DIFT without a health impact study.
  • Human health should be at the center of any study of the impacts.
  • More information is needed in a more simplistic version.
  • Concerned with all the walls and security measures.
  • The best alternative is No Action.
  • Aggravated that government is going to subsidize billion dollar companies and million dollar owners for things that they could do themselves.
  • There are no laws preventing the railroads from building a sound barrier or beautifying their property, or trying to reduce pollution.
  • We don't need to hand them our tax money for the right to regulate them.
  • We need to fix up our roads and other problems first.
  • We need to work together to hammer this out, to not walk away and lose this opportunity.
  • Wyoming is too congested now; adding trucks to it is only going to create more troubles.
  • There should be a regional land use strategy.
  • No Action means the railways can do what they want.
  • Alternative 4 is the least intrusive; it spreads the pain a little bit.
  • We have to know the health implications before we have any real meaningful dialogue.
  • There are positives with each of the alternatives.
  • The DIFT could lead to more modal shift of cargo to rail, leading to lowered overall transportation emissions and reduced highway congestion.
  • The air is getting dirtier as is evidenced by the dirt on my car windshield I find everyday.
  • Against Alternative A, Option A.
  • A great deal of thought needs to be given to the displacement and the quality of life of those persons who are going to be displaced.
  • Our neighborhood is already surrounded by industrial facilities.
  • Parks you have noted in the study no longer exist…information you have is outdated.
  • New homes and a new school on Wyoming Avenue are not indicated in the study.
  • How can construction of the Fort Street Bridge and the DIFT occur at the same time without having an adverse impact on police, fire and emergency services?
  • Can't understand how you can have many more trucks yet the air quality will be better.
  • The most immediate benefit needs to go to those who are most impacted.
  • The neighborhood has long sought a major shopping center here; you could help us make that happen with Brownfield cleanup, site assembly and roadway planning.
  • The "No Action" alternative will be a detriment to the ongoing redevelopment of southwest Detroit.
  • MDOT can make improvements to Livernois Junction yard apart from the DIFT.
  • If there was a method for EPA to access health risks from diesel exhaust on older equipment, then that method could be applied to assess the risk from newer equipment.
  • The more the consolidation, the more the pollution from diesel exhaust there.
  • We should be controlling both fugitive dust through paving and limiting diesel exhaust. Trading one for the other is not acceptable.
  • The proposed DIFT benefits the surrounding region by concentrating air pollution and other problems in one of a few communities dominated by people of color and the poor.
  • Why not place one of these on the east side of Detroit?
  • Who is going to enforce the laws to keep trucks out of neighborhoods and on assigned streets?
  • Is the city trying to tell us they don't want southwest Detroit any more?
  • Our health should be at the center of any plans for development.
  • Something is wrong with a government that can only fix roads and make corporations be good neighbors by handing over millions of taxpayer dollars to those corporations.
  • We should spend the money on mass transit instead and clean up the community.
  • The DIFT should be surrounded by a greenway.
  • Keep the trucks off Michigan Avenue and support Corktown development.
  • We need to keep as many streets open as possible because we have lost so many connections throughout the years.
  • The community needs to be brought into the discussion like they did in L.A.
  • What impact will the heavy trucks have on the roads; will the sound walls be porous enough to absorb the noise; and what will the vibration do to the homes and businesses?
  • The CP Expressway alternative will take the train station parking, which will affect development of the train station.
  • We need to work together to make this a win-win for everyone involved.
  • It is in our best interest to put more loads on the rails instead of the road.
  • Alternatives 3 and 4 are essential for reducing the overall pollution in the country and in the region by taking more loads off the interstate highways.
  • Where we are with the project today is a far cry from where we were in March 2001.
  • MDOT has listened to many of the concerns that have been expressed.
  • Southwest Detroit is a unique cultural destination and the most diverse community in the state. This project is not compatible with the transformation taking place.
  • Trucks on the streets are so negative to our ability to attract cultural tourists.
  • You can hardly hear the umpire when playing baseball at Clark Park
  • Keep the trucks off Vernor Highway, the main street of southwest Detroit.
  • Alternative 3 will dissect our property, a 103-door cross dock facility, and will have a disastrous effect on our business.
  • The project will stimulate southwest Detroit.
  • Alternative 4 has minimal displacement of residents and benefits the community.
  • The Draft EIS fails to fulfill the NEPA requirements.
  • It is arbitrary and capricious for MDOT to rely on an 11-year-old study of intermodal activity when the projections have been shown to be false by actual occurrences.
  • It is possible to improve the existing rail yards and increase capacity without expansion.
  • You need to question how much the DIFT would increase air pollution over doing nothing.
  • There is no discussion on whether the combined sewer systems in the city can handle the runoff from an 840 acre paved site.
  • Each community should bear its own burden and its own junction yard effects.
  • The silence of the railroads and auto companies who are the supposed beneficiaries of this is not acceptable under these circumstances.
  • If trucks are going to get 90 percent cleaner as we are being told, we need to realize some of that benefit.
  • To close off Lonyo and then put all of the trucks on Wyoming, which is the other access to the community, would be devastating.
  • No Action doesn't work but neither do any of the alternatives.
  • Things need to be done, but we shouldn't have to accept thousands of trucks per day to get them.
  • There needs to be another round of public hearings when MDOT decides on the preferred alternative so people can knowledgeably respond to something that seems feasible.
  • What mandates are being made to keep up the properties after they improve them?
  • The study has been very in depth and accurate.
  • At CP Oak there needs to be a business access road as well as truck access.
  • Any area to develop has to have a place for containers to come.
  • Are they going to compensate us for stabilizing our homes from all the vibration and noise like they did at the airport where they paid for insulated windows?
  • We are not in favor of expansion of the rail yard into the fairgrounds because the fair has been here for 100 years and the land was dedicated for the purposes of recreation and education.
  • Converting the fairgrounds into a metro park will not happen if this proposal goes through.
  • Who is going to buy my house across the street from a rail yard?
  • The State Fairgrounds is supposed to be a place for everyone to enjoy.
  • We want a park; we want green space.
  • I live in the 48203 area around the corner and I have not received any information about the hearings.
  • In the Memorandum of Understanding, Canadian National says it does not intend to move from the Ferndale yard, so MDOT will be pushing Alt. #4.
  • The studies this is based on are far outdated. The freight flow models are based on data from the 90s, not on the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs in the past three to four years.
  • The DIFT may actually hemorrhage more manufacturing jobs.
  • How will the DIFT increase U.S. manufactured goods rather than goods overseas, especially goods manufactured in Michigan.
  • Expanding into the fairgrounds will increase the harm to surrounding neighborhoods, costing the Detroit and Ferndale police, fire, public services and Hazmat tax dollars and services.
  • Where does MDOT propose to place a metropark if it irreversibly destroys the fairgrounds?
  • Give specifics on how the DIFT would support national defense.
  • Why would Canadian National choose this yard over Port Huron to expand?
  • How can MDOT take the fairgrounds when the deed restriction says it must be used for recreation and remain under the Authority's control?
  • The REMI model used to determine economic impacts does not reveal the local effects.
  • Tall walls will not stop the sound which travels in waves; it will only help some.
  • The DEIS does not mention what types of hazardous materials will come through the terminal.
  • The funds should be spent on the existing facilities as they are now, to protect the residential neighborhoods.
  • Ferndale has been designated a "Cool City" by Governor Granholm to promote safe, livable and attractive cities.
  • The DEIS does not define the Economic Justice boundaries nor what the issues mean.
  • To examine Environmental Justice issues, you have to explicitly look at how each minority, ethnic and low income group are being affected.
  • Once the decision is made it is important that MDOT move forward to build what is needed.
  • We don't want a repeat of the 1990s litigation with Grand Trunk Western (now CN).
  • It shouldn't be a question of where but a question of why anywhere. It's like the Green Eggs and Ham book: I do not like it here or there, I do not like it anywhere.
  • How do you justify the taking of public land needed for recreation to help a foreign corporation which pays no local taxes to distribute foreign manufactured products that have cost us our jobs?
  • The government walking away from Livernois-Junction yard would be wrong.
  • It doesn't seem right that MDOT is working with us to reduce the capacity of Michigan Avenue through streetscaping and a new road bed to turn around and dump more trucks onto it.
  • Potential investors in the fairgrounds are kind of backing off. They don't think it belongs here.
  • We don't buy the idea of national defense being boosted by something that creates a greater target in our community.
  • You're going to be carrying hazardous materials and uninspected cargo from overseas not just through Detroit, but through Highland Park, through Pleasant Ridge, through Royal Oak an onward.
  • This is not going to be the shot in the arm for this area of the country in any way, shape or form.
  • Who is going to do any hazardous waste cleanup from spills and who is going to pay for it?
  • The noise from the trucks is never ending, even on Christmas - is enough to drive us crazy.