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State and Local Leaders Praise Collaborative Move Regarding Transportation

Media Release                                  
For Immediate Release                                                                            

Date: January 4, 2012

Carrie Bourdages, Communications Specialist
Voice: 231-929-5038, Email:                     



TC-TALUS Joins Northwest Michigan Council of Governments

State and Local Leaders Praise Collaborative Move


TRAVERSE CITY, MI—Legislators and transportation leaders are praising the Traverse City Transportation and Land Use Study (TC-TALUS) board vote to officially join the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG).

“I strongly support the goals of The Grand Vision, and am glad to hear that regional transportation planning will be strengthened by the inclusion of TC-TALUS within the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments,” said  U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

TC-TALUS board members initiated the change with a vote in December in order to save costs, increase regional awareness and planning, consolidate services to best address transportation issues in northwest lower Michigan, and to support The Grand Vision transportation guiding principle: A regional multi-modal transportation system that supports energy conservation.

In 2005 Senator Levin led the effort to reprogram $3.3 million from the 1990 Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act to fund TC-TALUS’ endeavor. Having access to the NWMCOG’s expertise, funding opportunities and support staff will better position TC-TALUS to be successful, he said.

“Most recently I supported the Department of Housing and Urban Development award of $660,000 to the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and 11 other agencies, to further develop The Grand Vision to Grand Action, a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development,” said Senator Levin.

“Many times transportation and land use plans end up producing “square peg /round hole” outcomes. The strengthened relationship between TC-TALUS and the NWMCOG will insure that The Grand Vision’s guiding principles will be part of the toolbox used to get the 'shapes' correct,” said Kim Pontius, Grand Vision spokesperson.

“Combining the transportation planning efforts of TC-TALUS with the regionally-directed transportation planning efforts of the NWMCOG is a fine example of the actualization of The Grand Vision principles,” he said.

The Grand Vision’s genesis stemmed from the activities of TC-TALUS, and now includes many regional stakeholders, so it’s fitting that these two transportation and land use planning entities expand their connectivity to leverage all of the talent and skill of both organizations for the fulfillment of this citizen led vision, Pontius added.

TC-TALUS will continue to focus on its urban model for the Traverse City area, as its initial mission, but also be connected regionally with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other agencies for collaborating on transportation planning.

“This move will only enhance the planning MDOT can do effectively in the coming years, both regionally and within the Traverse City urban area; we’re very supportive of the board’s decision,” said Risë Rasch, manager of the MDOT Traverse City office, and TC-TALUS board member.

For more information, contact Carrie Bourdages at or visit the website:


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