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Improving Appearances

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									                                 Improving Appearances
                                 Visual Enhancement Planning for
                                         the US−2 Corridor

                                         October 10, 2003




Prepared by:


           The US-2 Visual
        Enhancement Planning
         Project Partnership



Funded by:


        The People and Land
           (PAL) Program
                of the
       W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                                   Table of Contents

Table of Contents ........................................................................................i
List of Figures, Conceptual Designs and Tables.....................................ii
Acknowledgements....................................................................................v
Executive Summary ..................................................................................vi
Introduction and Project Description .......................................................1
Individual Community Plans
  Ironwood
    Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis ............................................................... 1
    Community Input ................................................................................................................. 7
    Suggested Improvements ................................................................................................. 10
    Conceptual Designs .......................................................................................................... 13
   Bessemer
    Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis ............................................................... 1
    Community Input ................................................................................................................. 6
    Suggested Improvements ................................................................................................... 8
    Conceptual Designs .......................................................................................................... 10
   Watersmeet
    Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis ............................................................... 1
    Community Input ................................................................................................................. 6
    Suggested Improvements ................................................................................................... 8
    Conceptual Designs .......................................................................................................... 11
   Iron River/Crystal Falls
    Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis ............................................................... 1
    Community Input ................................................................................................................. 5
    Suggested Improvements ................................................................................................... 8
    Conceptual Designs .......................................................................................................... 11
   Escanaba/Gladstone
    Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis ............................................................... 1
    Community Input ................................................................................................................. 5
    Suggested Improvements ................................................................................................... 7
    Conceptual Designs .......................................................................................................... 11
   Mackinac County
    Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis ............................................................... 1
    Community Input ................................................................................................................. 5
    Suggested Improvements ................................................................................................... 9
    Conceptual Designs .......................................................................................................... 13
Achieving Results/Implementation...........................................................3
Funding Enhancements...........................................................................17
Appendix A: Sources of Additional Information




                                                                       i
                                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


           List of Figures, Conceptual Designs and Tables

Ironwood Community Plan
Figures
 Figure 1, US-2 Corridor Study Area ............................................................................. 2
 Figure 2, US-2 Commercial Corridor............................................................................ 5
Conceptual Designs
 Conceptual Plan 1 – US-2, Entering Ironwood from the East .................................... 14
 Conceptual Plan 2 – Entering Ironwood from the West along BR-2 .......................... 15
 Conceptual Plan 3 – US-2 Eastbound at Douglas Street........................................... 16
 Conceptual Plan 4 – US-2 Eastbound at Lawrence Street ........................................ 17
 Conceptual Plan 5 – US-2 Westbound, West of Douglas Street ............................... 18
 Conceptual Plan 6 – US-2 Eastbound, East of Greenbush Street............................. 19
 Conceptual Plan 7 – US-2 Eastbound, Entrance to Ironwood ................................... 20
 Conceptual Plan 8 – US-2 Westbound, Eastbound US-2 at Best St. ........................ 21
 Conceptual Plan 9 – US-2 Westbound, Eastbound US-2, East of Commercial Zone22
 Conceptual Plan 10 – US-2 Westbound, East Side of Town ..................................... 23
 Conceptual Plan 11 – Cross Section, US-2 near Budget Dollar Store ...................... 24
 Conceptual Plan 12 – Cross Section, US-2 near Armata Motel................................. 25

Bessemer Community Plan
Figures
 Figure 1, US-2 Corridor Study Area ............................................................................. 2
 Figure 2, US-2 Commercial Corridor............................................................................ 4
Conceptual Designs
 Change Idea 1 –US-2, Entering Bessemer from the West ........................................ 11
 Conceptual Plan 1 – US-2, Entering Bessemer from the West.................................. 12
 Conceptual Plan 2 – US-2 Eastbound, West of Town Middle.................................... 13
 Conceptual Plan 3 – US-2 Entering Bessemer from the East.................................... 14
 Conceptual Plan 4 – Entering Bessemer from the East............................................. 15
 Conceptual Plan 5 – US-2 Westbound, East of Town Middle.................................... 16
 Conceptual Plan 6 – US-2 Westbound at Sophie Street............................................ 17
 Conceptual Plan 7 – US-2 Westbound at Moore Street............................................. 18
 Conceptual Plan 8 – Cross Section, East Side .......................................................... 19
 Conceptual Plan 9 – Cross Section, Downtown......................................................... 20

Watersmeet Community Plan
Figures
 Figure 1 - US-2 Corridor Study Area ............................................................................ 2
Conceptual Designs
 Conceptual Plan 1 – Entering Watersmeet from the East.......................................... 12
 Conceptual Plan 2 –Northbound US-45, Approaching US-2 (with Roundabout) ....... 13
 Conceptual Plan 3 – US-2/US-45 Intersection from the South .................................. 14
 Conceptual Plan 4 – US-2/US-45 Intersection from N.F. Visitor’s Center ................. 15
 Conceptual Plan 5 – Westbound US-2, West of US-2/US-45 Intersection ................ 16
 Conceptual Plan 6 – Looking North along US-45....................................................... 17
 Conceptual Plan 7 – Cross Section, Northbound US-45, north of US-2 .................... 18
 Conceptual Plan 8 – Plan View, US-45 & US-2 Intersection.................................19-20



                                                      ii
                                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Iron River/Crystal Falls Community Plan
Figures
 Figure 1 - US-2 Corridor Study Area ............................................................................ 2
Conceptual Designs
 Conceptual Plan 1 – Westbound US-2, West of Crystal Falls.................................... 12
 Conceptual Plan 2 – Westbound US-2, at Ott Road .................................................. 13
 Conceptual Plan 3 – Eastbound US-2, East of Iron River.......................................... 14
 Conceptual Plan 4 – Eastbound US-2, West of Iron River......................................... 15
 Conceptual Plan 5 – Westbound US-2, West of Iron River........................................ 16
 Conceptual Plan 6 – Westbound US-2, Split Rock .................................................... 17
 Conceptual Plan 7 – Eastbound US-2 at Eastern Crystal Falls City Limit ................. 18
 Conceptual Plan 8 – Eastbound US-2, Crystal Falls near Sixth Street...................... 19
 Conceptual Plan 9 – Eastbound US-2, Crystal Falls at 141..................................20-21
 Conceptual Plan 10 – Westbound US-2, Iron River, Entry to Town........................... 22
 Conceptual Plan 11– Westbound US-2, Iron River, East End of Town ..................... 23
 Conceptual Plan 12– Westbound US-2, Iron River, at M-189...............................24-25
 Conceptual Plan 13 – Eastbound US-2, Iron River, near Gibb City Rd. .................... 26
 Conceptual Plan 14 – Cross Section, US-2 West, Crystal Falls, near 141 ................ 27
 Conceptual Plan 15 – Cross Section, US-2 East, Iron River...................................... 28
 Conceptual Plan 16 – Plan View, Crystal Falls Township.....................................29-30
 Conceptual Plan 17 – Plan View, Iron River..........................................................31-32

Escanaba/Gladstone Community Plan
Figures
 Figure 1 - US-2 Corridor Study Area ............................................................................ 2
Conceptual Designs
 Conceptual Plan 1 – Gladstone, Westbound US-2 at Railyard .................................. 12
 Conceptual Plan 2 – Gladstone, Eastbound US-2 entering Curve............................. 13
 Conceptual Plan 3 – Escanaba/Wells Township, North of Viaduct............................ 14
 Conceptual Plan 4 – Escanaba, Westbound US-2 at Escanaba River ...................... 15
 Conceptual Plan 5 – Escanaba/Wells Township, Westbound US-2 .......................... 16
 Conceptual Plan 6 – Escanaba, Westbound US-2 at North City Limit....................... 17
 Conceptual Plan 7 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, South of Danforth Rd.................. 18
 Conceptual Plan 8 – Escanaba, Westbound US-2 at Fairgrounds ............................ 19
 Conceptual Plan 9 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2 entering Curve ............................. 20
 Conceptual Plan 10 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, N. of Ludington St..................... 21
 Conceptual Plan 11– Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, N. of Ludington St...................... 22
 Conceptual Plan 12– Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, Entering Town ........................... 23
 Conceptual Plan 13 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, West of City Limit ..................... 24
 Conceptual Plan 14 – Cross Section, Westbound US-2, South of Gladstone ........... 25
 Conceptual Plan 15 – Cross Section, Westbound US-2, Escanaba .......................... 26




                                                      iii
                                                               US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Mackinac County Community Plan
Figures
 Figure 1 - US-2 Corridor Study Area ............................................................................ 2
Conceptual Designs
 Conceptual Plan 1 – Cedarville, Eastbound M-134.................................................... 14
 Conceptual Plan 2 – Hessel, M-134 Eastbound at 3 Mile Rd .................................... 15
 Conceptual Plan 3 – Les Cheneaux, Eastbound M-134 West of Hessel ................... 16
 Conceptual Plan 4 – St. Ignace, Eastbound US-2 ..................................................... 17
 Conceptual Plan 5 – Westbound US-2, West of I-75 ................................................. 18
 Conceptual Plan 6 – Eastbound US-2, Moran Township at Portage Rd.................... 19
 Conceptual Plan 7 – US-2 Westbound, Moran Township .......................................... 20
 Conceptual Plan 8 – US-2 Eastbound, Brevort .......................................................... 21
 Conceptual Plan 9 – US-2, Hog Island....................................................................... 22
 Conceptual Plan 10 - Eastbound US-2, Naubinway................................................... 23
 Conceptual Plan 11 – Cross Section, M-134 Eastbound, Cedarville ......................... 24
 Conceptual Plan 12– Cross Section, US-2 Westbound, St. Ignace........................... 25



Achieving Results/Implementation
 Table 1 – Achieving Results, Sections 1-4 ............................................................................. 6-9
 Table 2 – Summary of Economic Development Tools ..............................................................24




                                                          iv
                                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                             Acknowledgements

The US-2 Visual Enhancement Planning Project and the planning guidance contained in this
document would not have been possible without the financial support of the People and Land
(PAL) program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

In addition, a number of organizations and individuals were vital to this project and developing the
guidance and recommendation contained within this document. The following individuals logged
long hours of travel, recorded extensive field documentation, gave numerous presentations and held
many discussions leading to the development of this plan. Their effort, dedication and importance
to this project cannot be overstated.

     Rita Hodgins                                                     Tom Nemacheck
     District Extension Educator                                      Executive Director
     MSU Extension                                                    Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association

     Victor Nelhiebel                                                 Adrian Stroupe
     Victor Nelhiebel Land Architecture                               Regional Planner
                                                                      MDOT
     Gerry Harsch
     Planner, City of Charlevoix                                      US-2 Visual Enhancement Advisory Committee
                                                                      Members from the Communities of
     John Campbell                                                         Ironwood
     Executive Director                                                    Bessemer
     Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development               Watersmeet
     Commission (Region 11)                                                Iron River/Crysal Falls
                                                                           Escanaba/Gladstone
     Dave Gillis                                                           Mackinac County
     Executive Director
     Central Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Regional          Joe VanderMeulen
     Commission (Region 12)                                           Executive Director
                                                                      Land Information Access Association
     James Stingle
     Executive Director                                               Carl Ferguson
     Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Regional          Program Development Specialist
     Commission (Region 13)
                                                                      Land Information Access Association




                                                               v
                                                        US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                      Executive Summary

The purpose of this Visual Enhancement Plan for the US-2 Corridor is to demonstrate techniques
and tools for changing the “windshield view” of the US-2 and M-134 corridors in the Southern
Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The plan was put together by a partnership of organizations
interested in the continued scenic and economic well-being of the Upper Peninsula. This effort was
funded by a grant from the People and Land (PAL) Program of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Tourism and recreation are vitally important parts of the Upper Peninsula’s economy. Furthermore,
studies routinely show that a visitor’s experience traveling to their destination is equally as important
as their experience at their destination. Therefore, the corridors bringing visitors to the Upper
Peninsula’s vast recreational resources are important to the region’s continued economic vitality.
Making these corridors pleasant will keep visitors coming back. By showing specific changes and
detailing available techniques and resources, this plan will help communities enhance their corridors,
furthering tourism, recreation and economic development in the region. It will be a useful guide to
County, Township and Municipal officials, Civic Organizations, Business Leaders, Recreation and
Environmental Groups, and all Citizens interested in the aesthetic qualities of their roadways.

This plan focuses on six (6) communities along the US-2/M-134 corridor. The communities were
chosen to participate in this planning grant through a competitive application process. The
communities and the respective corridor segments are:

        Ironwood               Four mile section that lies within the city limits, approximately 2.6
                               miles along the main thoroughfare and 1.3 miles along the US-2
                               Business Route
        Bessemer               US-2 within the city limits
        Watersmeet             Four miles west of the intersection with Highway 45 to four miles east
                               of the intersection with Highway 45
        Iron River/            US-2 from 3 miles west of Iron River to 1 mile south of Crystal Falls
        Crystal Falls
        Escanaba/              US-2 between Escanaba and Gladstone, including Escanaba Township
        and Gladstone          Wells Township

        Mackinac County All of US-2 and M-134 in the County

This plan has several components. For each of the six communities, the plan presents an analysis of
existing conditions along with input from community visioning meetings held last spring.
Immediately thereafter, several conceptual enhancement designs are presented, incorporating key
elements from community meetings and field analysis. The individual community plans and designs
are followed by a section on implementation which details tools and techniques used to visually
enhance corridors. The last section describes resources for funding visual enhancement.

                                                   vi
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                          Introduction and Project Description

Introduction
Views from the road often form our first and most lasting impressions of a region and a community.
What we see through the windshield can make us feel welcomed and at ease or uncomfortable and
threatened. What can communities in the Upper Peninsula do to ensure that both residents and
visitors feel welcomed and encouraged to stop?

Visual enhancement planning helps a community re-consider appearances from the perspective of a
visitor. What attracts people to your town and local businesses? What encourages people to stay and
enjoy your community's recreational resources? What keeps them coming back?

Last fall, the People and Land Program of W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided a grant to the Land
Information Access Association and several project partners for the development of "visual
enhancement plans" for many sections of the US-2 and M-134 corridors. The primary goal of this
project is the preparation of a usable and well-supported visual enhancement plan for the US-2 and
M-134 highway corridors, with a particular focus on critical community and tourist areas. We are
also interested in motivating and supporting local and regional efforts to reverse on-going
deterioration and preserve existing visual assets.

The project partners used a series of regional forums, press releases, newsletters and a web-site to
introduce the concept of visual enhancement, describe why it is important for tourism and
economic development, and discuss opportunities for communities to receive planning and
implementation assistance. Building on the community participation and excitement generated from
our initial outreach efforts, we invited several communities to participate in free, focused planning
activities. This plan and the graphics and recommendations contained herein are the result of those
activities.

What is Visual Enhancement?
Historically, highway design and construction has been oriented to concerns about safety, structure
and cost. These areas remain foremost in the minds of new highway designers, as they should.
However, their preeminence often eclipses another equally important design value - Visual Quality.
The visual qualities of a roadway have important ramifications for drivers and communities along
the corridor. A driver's view from the road often forms their entire impression of a region and
informs their decisions about where to turn, where to stop and how to ultimately arrive at their
destination. The visual qualities of a roadway can keep drivers informed, interested and alert or,
conversely, confused, bored and tired.

When assessing existing roadways, visual qualities must be addressed from the standpoint of
enhancements. What can be done to enhance the visual qualities of a particular roadway is a



                                               Page 1
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


community decision which should be addressed at the local level. However, some activities typically
associated with visual enhancement are
    • Adding bike or pedestrian facilities
    • Limiting curb cuts and providing attractive, easy to follow directional signage
    • Adding attractive landscaping or interesting street level features
    • Preserving, rehabilitating or renovating historic structures
    • Preserving scenic vistas or agricultural land
    • Cleaning up of blighted areas
    • Establishing design guidelines for signage, landscaping, materials, siting, etc.


Why Visual Enhancement?
Beyond the specific benefits of attractive streetscapes and safer and more efficient travel, the
benefits of visual enhancement run much deeper. More attractive, interesting and informative
transportation corridors can have dramatic impacts on community pride and economic
development. Specifically, communities undertaking enhancement projects have seen:
    • higher tax revenues
    • increased tourism revenue
    • increased private investment and new business creation
    • increased employment
    • increased interest in community history and civic engagement




                                               Page 2
                                  Ironwood, Michigan
                                            US−2 Corridor
                                 Visual Enhancement Plan




Prepared by:


           The US-2 Visual
        Enhancement Planning
          Project Partnership




Funded by:


          The People and Land
             (PAL) Program
                 of the
       W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                 Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis

Ironwood, Michigan was one of six communities along the US-2/M-134 corridor selected to
receive visual enhancement planning assistance as part of the US-2 Project. Ironwood is located in
Gogebic County at the far western end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is often referred to as
the “Western Gateway to the U.P.”, with the US-2 approach from Wisconsin leading right in to
Ironwood. The population of Ironwood is approximately 6,000.

The subject of this study and plan is the section of the US-2 main thoroughfare that lies within the
city limits (2.6 miles), and the US-2 business route (1.3 miles) – approximately 4 miles of roadway
(see figure 1).

Approaches to Ironwood
The west U.S. 2 approach from Wisconsin is Michigan’s gateway. The border at the Montreal
River is not obvious, followed by a standard Welcome Michigan sign and understated Ironwood
welcome sign. This is in contrast to the large, prominent Welcome Wisconsin sign. The area is
wooded and pleasant, visually leading to an MDOT Welcome Center, which is architecturally
dated. A pleasant, wooded fairground park on the north side and motels on the south complete
this uncluttered first ½ mile of 4 Lane Boulevard.




Entering Ironwood along US-2 from the East, a series of billboards line the north roadside,
immediately followed by a wooden welcome sign. Pines on both sides screen the limited
development along the curving 5 lane road. As the curve turns west, the view dramatically changes




                                          Page 1                                        Ironwood, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


to an industrial park on the south side and intense commercial development on the north,
stretching ahead.




The BR-2 entrance to Ironwood begins at the Montreal River Bridge. This “back door” approach
enters Ironwood through a neighborhood of older houses, industrial structures and overhead
wires. At a confusing intersection with McLeod St., B.R. 2 veers uphill past a well-positioned
Ironwood sign, with good backdrop. Cresting the hilltop, there is a good panorama of downtown
Ironwood.




In general, the approaches to Ironwood have potential, but need some attention. The existing
Ironwood signs are small, wooden and attractive and should be emphasized with landscaping.
They could also feature the “Gateway” theme more prominently. Visitor information locations
should be clearly identified for corridor traffic. There is currently no visitor information location
when approaching from the east.




                                           Page 3                                         Ironwood, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



US-2 Commercial Corridor

The heart of the U.S. 2 Corridor in Ironwood is a mixture of commercial and residential use with
heavy traffic, best described as “linear sprawl”. While there are a number of attractive properties
along this stretch, the overall impression is one of visual chaos, unappealing to tourists (see figure
2). A 1982 U.S. 2 Corridor Plan by Barton-Aschman Associates correctly analyzed many issues
(see sidebar). Current analysis from the field indicates many of the same issues.

Road & Traffic Issues
There are many curb cuts with a great variation in size and spacing. This creates a confusing and
unattractive visual along with traffic and access issues. The number of curb cuts also contributes
to curb damage from snow-plowing. As in many
northern communities, there is an accumulation of grit                  1982 Corridor Analysis
on roadsides, sidewalks and grass edges throughout the
corridor from snow-plowing. Poor drainage often leaves         From a study of the US-2 Corridor by
standing water in outside lanes. During the winter             Barton-Aschman Associates (1982)
months, snow storage contributes to visual clutter.
                                                               Functions
Parking and paved areas stretch right to the curb for          • Regional highway traffic
many businesses along the corridor. This adds to visual
                                                               • Local traffic (primary east-west route)
clutter and is distracting for the traveler.
                                                                 • Primary commercial area of city
                                                                 • “Front Yard” of Ironwood
Sidewalks                                                        • Main tax and employment base
The sidewalks along the US-2 Commercial Corridor in              Problems
Ironwood are not continuous which creates problems               • Abutting pockets of residential and
for pedestrian traffic and detracts from visual                    commercial
consistency. They are in generally poor condition, often         • Generally narrow right-of-way (78')
close to or at the curb and sometimes covered with snow
                                                                 • Numerous access drives - confusing &
or plowing and snow grit. There are few cross walks.               safety issue, small parcels
                                                                 • Lack of setback of buildings
Utilities and Street Lighting                                    • Mishmash of building types and materials
Overhead wires and utility poles are pervasive along the         • Sign clutter and inconsistent setback
US-2 Commercial Corridor running both along the                  • Lack of off-road or connection between
corridor and crossing it.. They are often close to the             business forces more car trips
roadway and the wires and poles block driver’s vision.           • Parking sprawl, often to r.o.w. line
Street lighting along the corridor is provided by lamps on       • Lack of landscaping at approaches,
utility poles. These are not very attractive and cast a            roadside, parking and key intersections.
yellowish light.                                                 Opportunities
                                                                 • Preservation of pleasant approaches
Blight and Junk                                                  • Redevelopment of larger available parcels
                                                                   (old K-Mart)
Blight is not a pervasive problem along the US-2



                                            Page 4                                              Ironwood, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Commercial Corridor. There are some derelict building structures and unmaintained properties.
Front yard vehicle storage and auto sales displays along discrete portions of the corridor are not
attractive and add to clutter.

Signage
Signage along the US-2 Commercial Corridor varies in size, number, height, setback and
construction. The lack of consistency is distracting and the signs seem to be competing.
Billboards are not a widespread problem. However, several are located in less developed
approaches, and first impressions count. There is a problem with add-on or temporary signs of
varying quality. Directional signage is inconsistent and difficult to see amid all the advertising sign
clutter.

Landscaping
Along the main commercial corridor there are few landscaped areas (residences and banks being
the exception). There are few street trees and little, if any, screening of building sides, parking,
industrial lots or other distracting or unattractive views. The only focal landscape is present at the
Douglas St. intersection.

Key Intersections
The key intersections along the commercial corridor are at Lake St., Douglas St., Jackson St. and
Greenbush. There is little definition to the intersections with commercial development directly to
the street corners (except at S.W. corner of Douglas.)

Zoning
The entire corridor frontage is zoned C-3, highway commercial.

Business Route Downtown
The intersection at U.S. 2 has a downtown sign and some landscaping but is chaotic. Douglas
Street is mostly residential, with banners. The route to reach downtown includes some very
awkward, confusing turns and has a “backdoor” appearance, with older warehouse structures and
front yard parking.
The downtown area has an attractive Post Office and Museum area. There is a pedestrian
atmosphere with street lights, walks and a pocket park along with several historic building (theater,
depot). In some cases, the fine architectural details of many older buildings are covered by applied,
modern facades.




                                           Page 6                                          Ironwood, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                Community Input – Notes from Community Meeting

On April 7, 2003, members of the US-2 Project Partnership, along with the Ironwood US-2 Steering
Committee held a community meeting to gather input on corridor enhancements. Community
members were asked for their assessment of current conditions, their vision for the future and their
ideas for moving toward the future vision. The following notes summarize input from that meeting:



                                       City of Ironwood
                              U.S. Highway 2 Visual Enhancement
                               Steering Committee Meeting Notes
                                        Monday, April 7

Current Conditions

Sidewalks
  • The system is terrible
  • Where there are sidewalks, they are narrow
  • Sand covers them during plowing
  • They are in bad shape
  • Snow is an issue
Curb design
  • Snow plowing damages the curbs
  • We tried some ‘rolled curbs’ and some business owners complained
  • Snow/winter conditions are a huge factor and impact our curbs, sidewalks and roads
Signage
  • Too many
  • Neon or no lighting
  • Size is an issue
  • Billboards are an issue
  • The colors are everything in the rainbow
  • Some have borders others don’t
  • Some have wood frames others have metal frames
  • We don’t have any ‘recognition’ signs (example – sports’ teams accomplishments)
  • We don’t have any cultural identity
  • Our ordinance doesn’t exactly solve the sign issue
  • We let things go

                                          Page 7                                       Ironwood, MI
                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


  • Many of the signs are grandfathered in
Power Lines
  • Distracting
  • Visual blockage
  • Not a clean look
  • “carnival” look
Lighting
  • Ugly
  • Inadequate
  • Only on one side of the road in places
  • Tied to power poles
  • Yellow lights
  • No outlets on poles for decorative lighting
Access
  • Too close together
  • Too many curb cuts
  • Not obvious where the entrance is to get downtown
Entrances
  • Not very attractive
  • Not well defined that we are the entrance to the state as well as to our community
Blight
  • Not always enforced
  • Lack the resources to enforce
  • Don’t always get legal support
  • Comment is that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’
  • Vacant lots
  • Absentee owners – grass isn’t cut
  • Tall grass is present even where property owners are in the area

Desired Conditions
  • A complete citywide sidewalk system with buried power lines and rolled curbs
  • Decorative lighting used in the downtown carried to the highway (with power outlets and
    banner brackets)
  • Spaces designated for flower plantings
  • Combination of paver bricks and grass
  • Landscaped entrances

                                         Page 8                                     Ironwood, MI
                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


  • Uniformly designed signage that is tied to our culture/heritage

Bridge between Current Conditions and Desired Conditions
  • Apply for highway enhancement federal funds
  • Work with MDOT and the power companies to make sure that plans dovetail
  • Replace the water main
  • Work with MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corp) and the Welcome Centers
  • Put some focus on the Montreal River corridor
  • Implement sign design (maybe a contest) with themed signs that speak to our roots (mining,
    logging and tourism)
  • We are a ‘gateway community’ to Michigan, Ottawa National Forest and the western U.P.
    and Lake Superior
  • Review our sign ordinance
  • Make sure that we have an ordinance to do away with the billboards in the city
  • Begin some public education
  • Solutions for employee parking
  • Publicize what we were doing
  • Show some before/after
  • Beautification efforts need to be a partnership among civic groups and business owners
  • Identify snow storage areas
  • Explore elevated walkways in the downtown area




                                         Page 9                                   Ironwood, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                Suggested Improvements

Approaches

The current, pleasant, forested East and West approaches to Ironwood should be preserved. They
are consistent with the Community’s Gateway theme and provide visitors with a visually appealing
first impression of the community. Billboards in the area should be removed where possible and
future billboard siting restricted.

Entering from the East, the industrial park area should be screened with plantings in and out of
right-of-way. An appropriately placed and accessible Tourist Information Center or Kiosk should
direct visitors to local attractions.

Entering from the West, the Ironwood Welcome sign is lost between the Michigan Welcome Sign
and the Michigan Welcome Center. A better arrangement would be to relocate and expand the
Ironwood sign to Michigan Welcome Center, east of entry drive. The dated Michigan Welcome
Center should, at a minimum, receive landscaping treatment and would be a good candidate for
renovation or replacement.

Entering from Wisconsin along the US-2 Business Route, the McLeod/Aurora intersection should
be redone. Building on the existing Ironwood sign with a nice backdrop, new street trees, street
lights and sidewalks should guide visitors to downtown. Utility lines should be buried or relocated
and billboards removed. The industrial structures and parking to the south should be screened. The
existing Ironwood sign could be enhanced with lighting, additional focal landscaping and service
club plaques. The community should also explore the possibility of a joint project with Hurley, WI
for heritage murals or signs on the viaduct.

US–2 Commercial Corridor

The visually chaotic US-2 Commercial Corridor in Ironwood would benefit from several
enhancements. They are described in more detail here under the following headings:

Roadway
  • Use roll-curbs to cut down on plow damage
  • Restrict access with joint drives and service roads replacing the numerous single point drives
    now employed
  • Explore a 3-lane configuration
  • Use integral pole/arm signals with signage at key intersections
  • Restrict frontage parking

Sidewalks
   • Provide continuous sidewalks along the commercial corridor and move sidewalks further
     from the curb
   • Use well-marked crosswalks at significant intersections


                                          Page 10                                      Ironwood, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Utilities
    • Replace older utility pole-mounted streetlights with attractive streetlights with white lamps,
        banner brackets and outlets
    • Eliminate overhead lines/poles along roadway either through burial or relocation

Parking
   • Eliminate unnecessary pavement in frontage between curbs and buildings
   • Encourage side-lot parking
   • Screen parking with low walls, decorative fences and plantings

Blight
    • Screen storage yards and enforce junk ordinance
    • Require setback for auto sales display

Signage
   • Remove derelict signs and sign structures
   • Eliminate add-on or temporary signage
   • Limit or remove billboards (especially along entrances)
   • Explore a directional sign system with a consistent theme, logo and structure
   • Identify the following significant community areas:
        o Downtown
        o Scenic Drive to Lake Superior
        o Gogebic Community College
        o Mt. Zion
        o Fairgrounds
        o Museum

Streetscaping
   • Focus community efforts on core commercial blocks and key intersections
   • Use colored/textured pavers or concreted between curb and walk in tight areas
   • Place benches occasionally along street
   • Explore pocket parks at small unused sites
   • Identify appropriate themed banners for use

Landscaping
   • Use focal plantings at entries to Ironwood, in combination with entry signs
   • Screen parking, sides of buildings, and industrial areas with appropriate plantings
   • Use street trees where space is adequate

Key Intersections
   • Provide integral pole/arm supports for signals, signage
   • Use decorative landscape/screening for abutting commercial


                                           Page 11                                         Ironwood, MI
                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Business Route (US-2) and Downtown

  •   Possibly relocate Business Route (Lowell St.?)
  •   Redo awkward curve at Douglas / Frederick
  •   New sidewalks on Douglas, possibly paver edge
  •   Downtown: Renovate commercial buildings to bring out original character




                                        Page 12                                 Ironwood, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Conceptual Designs

Several conceptual designs were prepared for the US-2 corridor. The enhancements depicted in the
conceptual designs on the following pages are based on input from community meetings and field
analysis of existing conditions. Where possible, we selected locations that were indicated as
problems areas in the community meetings or could provide the greatest impact to overall corridor
enhancement. With limited resources, the project partnership was not able to prepare designs for
the entire corridor. However, elements of each conceptual design are clearly transferable to other
corridor sections.




                                         Page 13                                      Ironwood, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


            Conceptual Plan 1 – US-2, Entering Ironwood from the East
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 14                                Ironwood, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        Conceptual Plan 2 – Entering Ironwood from the West along BR-2

Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 15                               Ironwood, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 3 – US-2 Eastbound at Douglas Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 16                               Ironwood, MI
                                             US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 4 – US-2 Eastbound at Lawrence Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                   Page 17                               Ironwood, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


           Conceptual Plan 5 – US-2 Westbound, West of Douglas Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 18                                Ironwood, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


          Conceptual Plan 6 – US-2 Eastbound, East of Greenbush Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 19                               Ironwood, MI
                                        US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                 Conceptual Plan 7 – Entrance to Ironwood
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                              Page 20                               Ironwood, MI
                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 8 – Eastbound US-2 at Best St.
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                               Page 21                               Ironwood, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


          Conceptual Plan 9 – US-2 Eastbound, East of Commercial Zone
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 22                               Ironwood, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


            Conceptual Plan 10 – US-2 Westbound, East Side of Town
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 23                               Ironwood, MI
                                        US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 11 – Cross Section US-2 Eastbound near Budget Dollar Store




                              Page 24                               Ironwood, MI
                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 12 – Cross Section US-2 Westbound near Armata Motel




                           Page 25                               Ironwood, MI
                                 Bessemer, Michigan


                                            US−2 Corridor
                                 Visual Enhancement Plan




Prepared by:

           The US-2 Visual
        Enhancement Planning
         Project Partnership




Funded by:

        The People and Land
           (PAL) Program
                of the
       W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                  Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis

Bessemer, Michigan was one of six communities along the US-2/M-134 corridor selected to receive
visual enhancement planning assistance as part of the US-2 Project. Bessemer is located in Gogebic
County at the western end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The population of the City of Bessemer
is approximately 2,200.

The subject of this study and plan is the section of US-2 that encompasses the east and west
approaches to Bessemer and lies within the city - approximately 3.5 miles of roadway (see Figure 1).

Approaches to Bessemer
Approaching Bessemer from the West, US-2 is a broad highway with 5 lanes and substantial
shoulders. At Powdermill Creek near the Bessemer City Limit sign, there is a long uphill view to the
Bessemer Welcome Sign. The roadside is wooded, pleasant and inviting. Cresting the hill past an
attractive, wooden Bessemer Welcome sign, the visitor is presented with an excellent long view of
surrounding hills and the town below. However, several derelict billboards line the roadside to the
south thereafter. As the road narrows to 4 lanes, the north sides of the roadway is dominated by
residences and on the south side is the first signs of commercial sprawl - unscreened and
unattractive auto salvage, a motel, an industrial park entrance, parking lots, and auto sales.




Approaching Bessemer from the East, there is an attractive, wooden Bessemer Welcome sign and
following that the road pleasantly curves and there are good views of hills and lowlands to the south.
On the north side an MDOT roadside park is followed by a motel and nice residences set well back
and screened from the road. However, the south side affords a long view of the blank rear walls of
a building center. From this point westward, the north side is primarily residences and the south




                                           Page 1                                       Bessemer, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


side is dominated by open views of service yards, machinery, tanks, gas stations and parking.




Insert Figure 1, plan view of corridor>




Downtown Commercial Corridor
Downtown Bessemer extends along 4 blocks of U.S.2. The right-of-way is narrow and there are 4
lanes throughout. Entering from the East or West, the first impression for the traveler is of
sidewalks and frontage paving that is uncomfortably close to the roadway. Large expanses of

Entering Downtown Area from East                        Entering Downtown Area from West




unscreened, paved parking near the roadway, combined with curb damage often make driveways
difficult to distinguish. Curbs and abutting sidewalks on both sides give a cramped impression, plus
several older commercial buildings abut the right-of-way and make clear vision and entering traffic a
safety issue. There are several older, architecturally interesting buildings along the corridor that give
more of an old town feel (High School and Courthouse, at Moore Street). See Figure 2.

Road & Traffic Issues
The amount and speed of traffic through the downtown area is a problem (ADT @ 10,000). There
are many sidewalks that are uncomfortably close to the roadway – some used regularly by school
children. There are not enough marked pedestrian crossings. The South side of the US-2 corridor
in downtown is virtually continuous frontage pavement for parking and gas stations. The businesses
are neat and well kept, but the appearance is “strip commercial.” The lack of separation between the
public street and private parking is confusing and not visually appealing.
                                             Page 3                                        Bessemer, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Sidewalks
Many of the sidewalks along the US-2 Corridor in Bessemer are in poor condition. As mentioned
before, they are often close to or at the curb and sometimes covered with snow or plowing grit. In
some instances, the narrow roadway and snow storage problems force pedestrians into the roadway.
There are few cross walks.

Utilities and Street Lighting
Newer, attractive street lights are present along the north side of the downtown corridor. Utilities
along the corridor are not that much of a problem; however they are prominent at some cross
streets, adding to visual confusion at intersections.

Signage
Signage throughout the downtown area is inconsistent leading to a visually chaotic feel. There are
several derelict, unused business signs. Some commercial signs are cluttered with add-ons or add-on
signs are present on light or utility poles. Some signs are located at the right-of-way line. Interesting
directional signage for local points of interests is present, but inconsistent and crowded out or
obscured by commercial sign clutter.

Landscaping
There are few street trees or other streetscape elements along the downtown corridor. Landscaping
to screen parking or give definition to intersections is also not often used. This is most noticeable in
the residential blocks.

Key Intersections
The two key intersections at Moore and Sophie Streets are not well defined. There is little indication
where the cross streets will take you and the lack of landscaping and signage combined with
overhead utilities and signals on wires confuse the traveler. The street crossings are not well-
defined.

Zoning
Current zoning reflects the existing pattern of land use. At the east edge of Bessemer, south of U.S.
2, a large area currently undeveloped is zoned “Industrial”. This area is quite visible from U.S. 2 and
development will need to be screened both in and out of the right-of-way.

Other Observations
For Bessemer, “Big Snow Country” is central to its identity, with several nearby ski areas and lots of
snow each year. The town is surrounded by prominent hills and its former mining heritage is
apparent looking at a map of the area. However, for the visitor traveling along US-2, this heritage is
less apparent and not very accessible. There is no central point for visitors to stop and receive
“tourist” information. Local attractions, such as the scenic road to Black River Harbor, could use
more emphasis.



                                             Page 5                                        Bessemer, MI
                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Community Input – Notes from Community Meeting

                                       City of Bessemer
                             U.S. Highway 2 Visual Enhancement
                              Steering Committee Meeting Notes
                                       Monday, April 8

Current Conditions…issues

Blight
    o Tall grass
    o Junk cars
    o Gravel build-up on the streets/sidewalks
    o Some buildings need cleaning up
Sidewalks
    o Grass growing up through the cracks
    o Full of gravel
    o Uneven surface
    o Safety issues in the winter – too close to the highway
Snow issues
    o Difficult to remove
    o Damages our infrastructure
    o Sand ends up on the sidewalks and builds up to create a berm
    o High cost of snowplowing sidewalks
Signage
    o No clear delineation of ‘main street’
    o Not attractive
    o Sterile, barren appearance – no landscaping
    o No theme
    o Visual clutter
Safety
    o Water builds up in the gutters creating a dangerous driving condition
    o A building blocks the Sophie Street intersection where children from the nearby school
       cross a four lane highway
Maintenance
    o Since the state has taken over the roadside park, it is smaller; mowing is sporadic; the
       historical marker has faded
Landscaping
    o Landscaping throughout the corridor is very limited
    o There is no landscaping/very little at the community entrances
    o There are no trees along the corridor/no greenery
    o The elm trees that died have not been replaced



                                         Page 6                                     Bessemer, MI
                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Desired Conditions/Vision for the Future
   o We would like to see new, uniform, designed, creative signage that sets an example for
       everyone – perhaps a hybrid kiosk signage plan for area directions and a distinctive sign
       for the entrances and Sophie Street.
   o We want to protect our scenic vistas
   o We want to remove cluttered and outdated signs.
   o We’d like to have the corridor through the community more ‘traffic calming’ by
       reconfiguring the road from 4 lanes to three accommodating a turn lane.
   o We would like to have more greenery and landscaping throughout the corridor.
   o We would like sidewalks on both sides of the corridor.
   o We’d like to see all of our storefronts occupied and a vibrant, active commercial area.
   o We envision a ‘walkable community’ where the vegetation and landscaping is neat
   o Our historic architecture is preserved and enhanced and we highlight our heritage and
       culture.

Bridge/Potential Solutions
   o Flower planting/beautification efforts happen as a result of business and civic group
       participation.
   o The DDA sets an example of ‘signage’ both inside and outside the community.
   o In the new DDA plan, there could be a set aside of actual dollars for seasonal
       maintenance.
   o The DDA could mow and maintain to the brush line.
   o The Chamber of Commerce could be the advocate for the roadside park.
   o Continuation of the current work on the blight issues.




                                         Page 7                                     Bessemer, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                 Suggested Improvements

Approaches
Approaching Bessemer from the West along US-2, the pleasing forested climb up to the Bessemer
welcome sign should be continued by restricting billboard placement along the roadway. In
addition, the derelict billboards structures present along the downhill should be removed. Outdoor
storage areas and other unappealing visuals should be screened with landscaping and the industrial
park access should be better defined. In general, access is a problem and an effort should be made
to reduce and/or consolidate drives. This, combined with a physical separation of paved parking
from the roadway would soften the traveler’s view. In addition to the billboards, an effort should be
made to address sign clutter (add-ons, temporary and mobile signs).
The approach from the East would most benefit from an effort to screen building sidewalls and
parking with evergreen landscaping. Also, future development along the south side of US-2 should
incorporate landscape screening. To draw visitors off the road and provide information about
Bessemer, we recommend updating the roadside park with walks and displays. This effort,
combined with some additional landscaping around the Bessemer Welcome sign, will complement
an appealing approach to town.

Downtown Commercial Corridor
As mentioned in the field analysis, the present configuration of the US-2 corridor through
downtown Bessemer gives a “cramped” impression with little room or safety for pedestrians.
Traffic speeds and volume, narrow sidewalks adjacent to traffic and paved parking to the roadway all
contribute to difficult navigation and a pass-through feeling along the US-2 Corridor. Most of our
recommendation will address these problems.
With a pleasant downtown ambience along Sophie Street, the US-2 corridor should highlight and
complement the assets already present in Bessemer, lead visitors to area attractions and make it easy
for them to stop and stay.

Roadway and Sidewalks and Parking
  • Reconfigure U.S. 2 corridor to 3 lanes, to slow traffic and increase pedestrian space and
    provide room for landscape and street treatments
  • Pull sidewalks away from curb, separate with pavers in commercial area and grass in
    residential to provide for snow accumulation
  • Extend north walk from Hillcrest Street to Cedar Road, south walk from auto dealership to
    easternmost residential block
  • Reduce/consolidate drive openings, especially gas stations. Use modified roll-curb
  • Screen expansive parking and service areas with decorative fencing walls and/or plantings

Landscaping and Streetscaping
   • Add street trees, where space permits, possibly in clusters
   • Add streetscape elements (benches, banners) for pedestrian atmosphere
   • Preserve, restore usable older buildings
   • Develop commercial parcels south of U.S. 2 with pedestrians in mind
                                           Page 8                                      Bessemer, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Blight
    • Screen all service yards and storage areas with fences, walls or evergreen trees. (Auto salvage
       and welding on west)
    • Remove derelict buildings and sign structures where present

Signage
   • Limit height and face area of new commercial signs
   • Limit/restrict free standing, mobile, temporary or add-on signs
   • Encourage building-mounted signage
   • Add directional signs for area attractions and at key intersections
   • Promulgate a uniform format / structure for community signs and encourage a themed
     business sign look
   • Distinctive look - possibly updated Gogebic “Indianhead” logo or Snowflake logo, for:
      • High school
      • Courthouse
      • Industrial Park
      • City Hall
      • Steiger Field
      • Black River Road
      • Trailheads

Key Intersections
   • Pole/arm mounted signals at Sophie Street and Moore Street, with clear directional signs.
     Accentuate intersections and the block between them
   • Emphasize Sophie Street connection to city hall and commercial area

Community Identity, Themes and Tourist Information
  • Project a consistent simple logo/theme (e.g., “Big Snow” and Peaks).
  • Use banners with bold graphics to convey heritage and recreation.
  • Provide a tourist information/interpretive Kiosk(s), centrally or at each entry
  • Create a local heritage trail, emphasizing mining heritage and other important community
    culture (driving or walking), with interpretive stops




                                            Page 9                                       Bessemer, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Conceptual Designs

Several conceptual designs were prepared for the US-2 corridor. The enhancements depicted in the
conceptual designs on the following pages are based on input from community meetings and field
analysis of existing conditions. Where possible, we selected locations that were indicated as
problems areas in the community meetings or could provide the greatest impact to overall corridor
enhancement. With limited resources, the project partnership was not able to prepare designs for
the entire corridor. However, elements of each conceptual design are clearly transferable to other
corridor sections.




                                         Page 10                                     Bessemer, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Change Idea 1 – US-2, Entering Bessemer from the West
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 11                               Bessemer, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 1 – Entering Bessemer from the West
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 12                              Bessemer, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


            Conceptual Plan 2 – US-2 Eastbound, West of Town Middle
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 13                               Bessemer, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 3 – Entering Bessemer from the East
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 14                              Bessemer, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 4 – Entering Bessemer from the East
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 15                              Bessemer, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


            Conceptual Plan 5 – US-2 Westbound, East of Town Middle
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 16                               Bessemer, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 6 – US-2 Westbound at Sophie Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 17                              Bessemer, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Conceptual Plan 7 – US-2 Westbound at Moore Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 18                              Bessemer, MI
                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 8 – Cross Section, East Side




               Page 19                              Bessemer, MI
                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 9 – Cross Section, Downtown




               Page 20                              Bessemer, MI
                                Watersmeet, Michigan


                                           US−2 Corridor
                                Visual Enhancement Plan




Prepared by:

          The US-2 Visual
       Enhancement Planning
        Project Partnership




Funded by:

       The People and Land
          (PAL) Program
               of the
      W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                  Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis

Watersmeet, Michigan was one of six communities along the US-2/M-134 corridor selected to
receive visual enhancement planning assistance as part of the US-2 Project. Watersmeet is located in
Gogebic County approximately 50 miles from the western border of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It
is surrounded by the Ottawa National Forest and is home to numerous lakes and rivers.
Recreational opportunities abound with hiking, fishing and snowmobiling access adjacent to town.
The subject of this study and plan is the section of US-2 corridor four miles to the east and four
miles to the west of the intersection of US-2 and US-45, approximately 8 miles of roadway. Since
the intersection of US-2 and US-45 is the prominent US-2 corridor feature, we also examined the
approaches to US-2 along US-45.(see Figure 1)

Approaches to Watersmeet
Approaching Watersmeet from the West, the visitor is greeted with a varied, natural corridor of
forests, hills, and roadside wetlands. Then a long downhill view culminates in a cluster of run-down
structures and wrecked vehicles on the north side of U.S. 2, followed shortly by a similar neglected
property on the south side. Shortly thereafter follows a Watersmeet welcome sign at a Y-
intersection. This intersection is poorly marked and the traveler cannot easily know where the road
leads. Thereafter, the corridor again turns to natural forest and scenic views of lowlands, until just
west of the U.S. 2 & 45 intersection, where a metal storage building greets the visitor. This west
approach can be much improved by removal of visible blight and selective screening.

Approaching Watersmeet from the West                   Approaching Watersmeet from the West




Approaching Watersmeet from the East, the there is a pleasant down hill through dense forest to a
Watersmeet welcome sign about 3/4 mile before the intersection of US-2 and US-45. After crossing




                                           Page 1                            Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


the scenic Duck Creek Valley, attention is directed to the Ottawa N.F. Visitor Center entry. This
natural corridor is very appealing and should be protected.

Approaching Watersmeet from the East                    Approaching Watersmeet from the East




Intersection of US-2 and US-45
This intersection is the main impression most travelers on U.S. 2 will have of Watersmeet.
Unfortunately, it looks just like an intersection or highway service 4-corners, without any readily
apparent indication of the town just to the north. There is nothing to “lure” travelers to stop,
explore and see what the town has to offer. In addition, the large, triangular, clear-vision setbacks of
the intersection give it a wide-open, barren appearance. The visitor is greeted with an almost
unbroken expanse of pavement, utility and sign poles and buildings. It is important to soften this
view. Improving many aspects of this intersection is the key to inviting travelers to stop or venture
into Watersmeet. Each corner needs attention.


Northeast Corner
Nordine’s Truck stop, Store & Restaurant has a
very expansive gravel & paved area with gas pumps,
power lines, signs and trucks dominating the view.
A newer, two-story, metal service garage is visible
adjacent to the paved area. This corner requires the
most attention, with definition and screening the
highest priorities.




                                            Page 3                            Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Northwest Corner
The Citgo Gas and Convenience store sits behind
the retention basin. No landscaping or screening is
present at the corner or in the parking lot. Beyond
the convenience store, a bar/restaurant and motel
are tucked into a pinegrove with frontage parking
to the US-45 roadway.




Southwest Corner
From US-2, an imposing new Casino Sign
dominates the view. It is well set back from the
road and some distance from the intersection.
Although visible from a distance, the sign gives no
indication of where the casino is. The immediate
corner features a retention pond area directly
behind utlility poles. Behind the retention area sits
a derelict gas station and some metal buildings
surrounded by outdoor storage.




Southeast Corner
The Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center sits
remotely atop a hill at this intersection corner. It is
very visible from the west only. The small hillside
sign will be replaced in the future. This corner is
very attractive and well-maintained.




                                              Page 4                        Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Community Entry and Tourist Information
Despite the availability of tourist literature at the Ottawa N.F. Visitor Center, there is a need for
more easily accessible, easily visible, around-the-clock information adjacent to US-2. Directional
signage should point the visitor to this information, wherever it is. This directional signage could
and should go hand-in-hand with development of a prominent Watersmeet community sign.

Town Connection
The connection between Watersmeet and the U.S. 2/45 intersection is vague and needs to be made
visually obvious and functionally strong.

Community Identity
Watersmeet is a small town with northwoods character, set in the heart of the Ottawa N.F. and
other wilderness areas. Logging, outdoor recreation opportunities, Native American heritage and
the triple watershed are also key parts of local identity. Clear signage, landscape improvements and
visual access to rivers are needed to convey this image.




                                            Page 5                             Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Community Input – Notes from Community Meeting

                                           Watersmeet
                               U.S. Highway 2 Visual Enhancement
                                   Steering Committee Meeting
                                    Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Picture This…in 15/20 years
o In 2025, we would still have the ‘Northwoods’ look
o There would be more greenery in our town
o We would have more hiking/walking pathways that would be well defined and we could walk
  from shop to shop
o There would be small shops with log exteriors
o The non polluting lighting would be throughout the community
o We would have a new community welcome center that exemplifies our multi-cultural heritage
o Viewsheds of the river both in town and on US 2 would be enhanced
o Traffic calming is in place so people driving can actually see our community
o Gogebic Indianhead is incorporated into our logo and we have signed all our lakes with historic
  signs (on cedar posts- hollowed out so as to protect them)
o We are using the Ojibwe language translations and historical references of Native American
  heritage
o There are interpretive signs telling about our heritage
o We have enhanced the Agonikak trail and the scenic overlook of Duck Creek and the North leg
  of the triple watershed divide
o The area is landscaped with native species, wildflowers, grasses and ferns
o We have a signed, well defined trail system
o We’ve incorporated logging, fur trading and the railroad into our theme
o We have maintained our wilderness area

Current Conditions/Issues

Landscaping
o No greenery
o There is none
o Snow removal causes damage to flower plantings
o Not maintained
o There’s an empty canvas and power lines
Curbs
o Irregular
o Plows damage them
o Salt is an issue




                                          Page 6                          Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Sidewalks
o Irregular
o Some only on one side of the street
o No consistency from one block to the next
Pathways
o Not well defined
o Two ruts everywhere from 4-wheelers because they just go everywhere
Power lines
o They stand out
o There are so many
Blight
o Deteriorated buildings
o No way to get rid of scrap metal
Signage
o Ordinance is being updated
o The signage is confusing
o Entrance signs are too close in and people are by the community before they slow down
Clearing on the roadsides
o Prison work crews are cutting back the trees on the roadside and it is changing its attractiveness
Pipeline
o Should be hidden
Unclear messages
o ‘where’s the water?


Potential Solutions
o Use of boulders/rocks
o Use of native landscaping materials
o Enhance the look of buildings with vegetation
o Get people to ‘slow down’
o Enhance the identity of Watersmeet
o Get some consistency/cohesiveness
o Connect the businesses
o School renovation could be a catalyst
o Consider the viewshed/hill next to Nordeens




                                           Page 7                            Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                 Suggested Improvements
There are a number of improvements that will improve the look of this US-2 corridor segment and
invite visitors to stop and explore Watersmeet. The approaches to town, the intersection at US-45,
and the town connection all need attention.

Approaches to Watersmeet

East Approach
To encourage visitors to stop and inform them about Watersmeet, we suggest:

   • Relocating the Watersmeet Welcome sign closer to intersection and illuminating it
   • Selective thinning and clearing to enhance the views of Duck Creek.
   • Removing the cargo container.

West Approach
For the West approach, the following improvements are suggested:

   • Cleaning up the two very visible blighted yard storage areas – removal of wrecks, materials
     and vehicles.
   • Landscaping and lighting of Watersmeet Welcome sign
   • Screening the Baptist Church parking and storage units nearer to the intersection.

Intersection of US-2 and US-45

As mentioned in the field visual analysis, the intersection is what most travelers now associate with
Watersmeet. This unfortunately leaves a poor impression. The first step to improve this impression
is to hide or remove some of the obvious visual detractors. We suggest the following:

   • Screening of the large paved areas, pump islands and service structures at gas stations on
     northeast & northwest corners using vegetation and berms on private land and right-of-way.
   • Screening of building materials yard and metal buildings on southwest corner - native
     evergreen trees and berms
   • Removing the derelict gas station on southwest corner
   • Relocating overhead power lines away from US-2
   • Reducing and regrading the north hillside on east approach to improve visibility of a newly
     landscaped and appealing intersection or roundabout
   • Considering a Tourist Information pull-off east of Nordines.
   • Erecting a prominent Watersmeet Community sign using substantial timber structure to drive
     home the “northwoods” feel
   • Reduced speeds - possible use of round-about at intersection




                                           Page 8                                     Watersmeet, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Town Connection

There is currently little indication where the town of Watersmeet is located or what attractions a
visitor might find there. We suggest:
     • Extending the sidewalks from intersection north to the school, the township park, river
       crossing and, ideally, the casino.
     • Placing pedestrian level street lighting and street trees (non-spilling) from U.S. 2 northward
       along US-45
     • Placing banners, pictorially representing local heritage: Native American, logging, railroading,
       watershed divide, recreation and wildlife north to town


Other Issues

Recreational Trails
With the abundance of recreational activities and trails in and around Watersmeet, their prominence
and importance to visitors should not be underestimated. We suggest some efforts to further
highlight these resources:
    • Creating trailhead parking for Agonikak Trail at the US-2 entrance to N.F. Visitor Center
    • Creating clearly marked and visible trailhead areas in and around town
    • Upgrading existing, local trail areas with crushed stone surfacing for walking.
    • Creating an off-road walking trail loop from the town park, west along the existing
       snowmobile trail, then south to US-2, then east adjacent to US-2 then north again to the town
       park (along US-45 or on the trail paralleling Duck Creek.)
    • Creating an Ojibwa Museum.

Signs
Signage in and around Watersmeet is not as much of a problem as in some other US-2 Community
corridors. The community should take steps to ensure that unappealing signage does not become a
future problem as well as using directional and identity signage to attract and direct visitors. We
recommend:

    • Incorporating the historic “Indianhead” logo in community and directional signage. Use
      timber supports to emphasize “northwoods” identity and culture
    • Prohibiting future billboards in defined districts (approaches) using overlay zoning or other
      tools
    • Relocating Watersmeet Welcome signs closer to town and illuminating them.
    • Adding directional markers for trailheads, attractions and parks, with Ojibwa translations and
      themed consistent styles
    • Adding new National Forest Service (NFS) directional signs with bear logo and pictorial
      symbols for activities.




                                            Page 9                                      Watersmeet, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


   • Adding larger, more prominent N.F.S. visitor center sign on hillside, with native landscape
     and lighting.
   • Indicating turn direction on the casino sign.

Architectural Details
Establish community architectural theme for future buildings and renovations - rustic log
construction or some other cultural community identity theme. This will require ordinance, overlay
district and architectural review board.

Blight
Blighted areas in and around the intersection with US-45 as well as along the connection to town
should be cleaned up. This includes removing junk such as cars, appliances, etc. as well as the
removal of derelict structures.




                                          Page 10                                   Watersmeet, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Conceptual Designs

Several conceptual designs were prepared for the US-2 corridor. The enhancements depicted in the
conceptual designs on the following pages are based on input from community meetings and field
analysis of existing conditions. Where possible, we selected locations that were indicated as
problems areas in the community meetings or could provide the greatest impact to overall corridor
enhancement. With limited resources, the project partnership was not able to prepare designs for
the entire corridor. However, elements of each conceptual design are clearly transferable to other
corridor sections.




                                         Page 11                                    Watersmeet, MI
                                             US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
               Conceptual Plan 1 – Entering Watersmeet from the East

Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                   Page 12                             Watersmeet, MI
                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
  Conceptual Plan 2 –Northbound US-45, Approaching US-2 (with Roundabout)

Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                               Page 13                             Watersmeet, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
          Conceptual Plan 3 – US-2/US-45 Intersection from the South

Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 14                             Watersmeet, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
     Conceptual Plan 4 – US-2/US-45 Intersection from N.F. Visitor’s Center

Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 15                             Watersmeet, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
     Conceptual Plan 5 – Westbound US-2, West of US-2/US-45 Intersection
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 16                             Watersmeet, MI
                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
               Conceptual Plan 6 – Looking North along US-45
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                               Page 17                             Watersmeet, MI
                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
Conceptual Plan 7 – Cross Section, Northbound US-45, north of US-2




                          Page 18                             Watersmeet, MI
                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
Conceptual Plan 8 – Plan View, US-45 and US-2 Intersection (existing)




                            Page 19                             Watersmeet, MI
                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 8 – Plan View, US-45 and US-2 Intersection (proposed)




                            Page 20                             Watersmeet, MI
                                Iron River/Crystal Falls

                                                US−2 Corridor
                                     Visual Enhancement Plan




Prepared by:

          The US-2 Visual
       Enhancement Planning
        Project Partnership




Funded by:

       The People and Land
          (PAL) Program
               of the
      W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                  Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis

A proposal concentrating on the segment of US-2 that runs between Iron River and Crystal Falls,
Michigan was one of six project proposals from along the US-2/M-134 corridor selected to receive
visual enhancement planning assistance as part of the this project. This segment of the US-2
corridor is located in South Central Iron County on the Western Side of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

The subject of this study and plan is the section of US-2 corridor starting three miles west of Iron
River culminating one mile south of Crystal Falls – approximately 20 miles (see Figure 1).



Corridor Overview

US-2 links Crystal Falls and Iron River, two towns with a common history, separated by 15 miles of
forest and hills. The entire corridor has abundant natural resources with rivers, lakes and forested
areas. There are many outdoor recreational activities with rivers flowing through the towns in some
cases.

The towns themselves are compact, walkable, older communities with splendid older brick and
stone buildings. There are a number of historic sites along the corridor and Iron County has
established a 36 mile Heritage Route along US-2. The efforts already taken to note and preserve the
architectural and cultural heritage of the area are testament to the interests of the community and
hold promise for future visual enhancement efforts. Visual enhancement efforts on US-2 should
reinforce the link between the two communities.

There are however, threats to the visual character of the corridor. There is already growing strip
commercial areas at town fringes where, without proper regulation, detractors to visual quality will
proliferate. In some cases, attractive, well-placed welcome signs are dwarfed by inconsistent poorly
kept billboards. Signage, in general, is inconsistent and detracts from first impressions of the area.
The architectural uniqueness of many of the older building should be celebrated, yet, in some cases,
there has been insensitive “modernizing” and removal of older buildings. While not a large
problem, blight in rural areas should be addressed. Finally, from the visitor’s standpoint, there are
few tourist information points and directional signage.


Crystal Falls

Westbound Approach to Crystal Falls
Traveling Westbound on US-2, the visitor actually approaches Crystal Falls from the South. This is
a very pleasant rural stretch of roadway that culminates in an uphill approach to Crystal Falls at the
City Limit. An interesting tourist landmark called Split Rock, south of town, is not well marked and




                                            Page 1                           Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


could be highlighted. There is also a billboard zone developing just south of the city on the uphill.
The Crystal Falls welcome sign is attractive and well-located but a bit overshadowed by several
billboards preceding it. The sign itself could use emphasis with landscaping.

The Town of Crystal Falls
The town of Crystal Falls is very pleasant with nice residential areas and trees along many parts of
the corridor. The sidewalks are continuous in most areas and there are many views of the historic
buildings mentioned previously. There are several less appealing areas with unscreened frontage
parking and paving to the street. The curbs and grass borders show clear damage from plows and
plowing.

Crystal Falls Township Commercial (West City Limit to US-141)
This stretch of corridor is two lanes with paved shoulders. The first impression for the traveler is of
numerous wide drives and much unscreened frontage parking. There is very little definition
between the roadway and parking areas with paving to the roadway in some cases. There are gravel
edges to roadway and clear drainage problems in many locations. Streetlamps are mounted to power
poles which line the roadway. This problematic combination of numerous points of access, frontage
parking, and a concentration of overhead utilities presents a confusing visual.
The intersection with US-141 is not very well marked, and there is an unscreened electrical
substation and fuel storage tanks adjacent to the roadway. There is equipment storage in the
roadway frontage, oil and propane tanks adjacent to the roadway and several derelict structures and
signs along this corridor segment as well. This neglected appearance, combined with the absence of
walkways and landscaping, contribute to an unattractive, cluttered entry to Crystal Falls along
Eastbound US-2.


Intermediate Area (Crystal Falls and Bates Townships)

The corridor between Crystal Falls and Iron River is largely rural with many assets. The Medical
Facility is an attractive building and there is the Firetower landmark. There are scenic views of
Fortune Lakes and Chicago Slough, as well as nice vistas from some of the high points along the
roadway. There are also a number of recreational areas such as the State Park, Fortune pond and
the Pentoga Trail to the George Young Complex. There is very limited unattractive development or
blight. Some of the signage to historic or recreational sites could use updating. The S-curve is a
safety issue.


Iron River

East Approach
The East Approach to Iron River is four lanes with paved shoulders. The roadway has a wide right-
of-way and is elevated. Traffic moves at high speeds. The first distinctive view is of the Riverside
Plaza shopping center with a large, unscreened parking area and blank rear and side walls. There is a
nice consolidated access drive to the plaza. On the east side of the roadway, eroding hillside cut
banks could be shielded from view. Further along, the community welcome sign fronts an
unscreened city storage yard and is overshadowed by numerous billboards. There is a very visible
                                            Page 3                           Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


triangular parcel at the curve that could serve as a location for a potential welcome feature. There
are no walkways is this area.

Downtown
The downtown stretch of US-2 through Iron River is four lanes with a narrow right-of-way. There
are sidewalks along much of the corridor. There is much frontage paving to the back of the curb
and some wide access drives which give the impression of no separation from road. Screening is
rarely used. There are still many older, architecturally interesting buildings. However, either through
removal or the application of “modern”, blank facades, some of the architectural heritage seems to
be in jeopardy. Utility lines are not prominent and streetlights have banners. There is nice access to
the Apple Blossom Trail and the Iron River and lowland areas provide natural vistas.

West Approach
The West Approach to Iron River is, in general, very pleasant. There are nice residential areas and a
nice cemetery. The auto dealerships are very well-maintained and orderly. The few industrial areas
are also orderly and clean. There are limited pockets of blight. The derelict structures at Gibb City
Rd. and M-73, a few derelict signs and some areas of erosion should be addressed. Where industrial
areas and equipment storage yards are present, they should be screened.
Sidewalks are close to the curb and extend to west limit, but should be continuous on both sides of
the roadway. There are several billboard clusters that detract from otherwise neat appearances.
Overhead utilities are prominent in areas. There is no real welcome area. However, one potential
location would be at Gibb City Rd.




                                            Page 4                           Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                 US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Community Input – Notes from Community Meeting

  Bates Township – Crystal Falls City – Crystal Falls Township – Iron River City – Iron
                                    River Township

                            U.S. Highway 2 Visual Enhancement
                                Steering Committee Meeting
                                  Thursday, April 10, 2003

Vision 2020 – We Picture This..
o Grand entrances at both ends of the corridor
o Billboards replaced with holograms
o Advanced planned commercial growth planning with an emphasis on the environment
o A concentration on the growth of existing areas rather than creating new ones
o 30’ greenbelt with trees beyond the right of way
o Park area along the Iron River waterway
o Enhanced waterways along the entire corridor
o Split Rock enhanced as a ‘landmark’
o Improved visual appearance of gravel pits
o Native names on city street/road/direction signs
o Landscaped industrial park with landscaped buffer
o More pleasing architecture and composition/color balance
o Long tracts of publicly owned property acting as a visual buffer
o A reasonable and consistent policy producing an uncluttered landscape
o Retention and protection of historical features
o Consistent zoning along the corridor for continuity
o Protection of viewsheds
o Non-motorized trails/pathways
o No billboards but an expanded TODS program
o Access management policies in place
o Scenic turnouts/roadside parks
o Kiosks with local information
o Native flowers/shrubs
o Helpful attitudes

Current Conditions/Issues
o S-curve and general road conditions
o Unattractive mixed development
       o (lack of zoning) businesses next to residences
o Blight
       o junk cars
       o deteriorated housing and general scrap
o Landscaping
       o not enough trees
       o tall grass
                                        Page 5                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                 US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        o lack of maintenance
o   Lack of trails and rv accommodations
o   Increased commercial development on the west side of the corridor
        o Displacing natural features
o   Dangerous, unsafe conditions
        o S-curve
        o Surfaces
o   Landscaping
        o No buffers around current development
o   Garbage
        o Dropped off along the route
o   Signage
        o Lots of billboards
o   Unsightly
        o Gravel pits
        o Used car lots
        o Cell/radio towers
o   Inconsistent zoning
        o Setbacks
        o Greenbelts
        o Enforcement
        o Spot zoning
        o Structures
        o Utilities
        o signage
        o Erosion
o   Tight intersections 189/ US 2
o   150 neglected historical sites
o   No alternative means of travel
o   Dead animals
o   Poor property upkeep


Narrowing the spots – Our Top 7
o Fix the S-curves
o 189/US 2 intersection
o US 2 – US 41 intersection to the city limits
o Connect Iron River and Crystal Falls with a multi-use pathway
o Buffer all gravel pits
o By the Dollar Store – across from Angeli’s Central Market
o Identify specific and scenic historic sites
o Develop a master plan for the entire corridor

Other areas…
o Widen the 189 – US 2 intersection
o Enhance major intersections
                                        Page 6                          Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                 US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


o   Develop greenbelts and parks
o   Develop a ballpark ½ between Crystal Falls and Iron River
o   Develop a new factory/industrial park in Bates Township
o   Address billboards on the east side of Crystal Falls
o   Demolish building on the sw corner of US2 and 189 and the se corner of US 2/Gibb City
    Road




                                        Page 7                        Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                 Suggested Improvements
Crystal Falls

Westbound Approach to Crystal Falls
To enhance the approach to Crystal Falls and encourage visitors to take notice and stop, we
recommend:
    • Developing an interpretive pull-off at Split Rock. This should include walks and interpretive
      display as well as local tourist information
    • Limiting new billboards, especially on the final approach
    • Adding focal landscaping to the Crystal Falls Welcome sign

The Town of Crystal Falls
The town of Crystal Falls has very attractive building along with a number of interesting recreational
and historical attractions. We suggest efforts that highlight these areas and make them more
accessible for visitors while at the same time enhancing the streetscape:
    • Screening of parking areas at the curve, with trees, shrubs, decorative fence.
    • Adding directional signs to museums, recreational and historic sites.
    • Coordinating the addition of streetscape elements with ongoing City improvements
    • Replacing narrow curbside grass strips with pavers
    • Adding a location for tourist information

Crystal Falls Township Commercial (West City Limit to US-141)
The visually chaotic Commercial Corridor west of town would benefit from several enhancements.
They are described in more detail here under the following headings:

Roadway
  • Reconfigure roadway to 3 lanes, with roll-curb
  • Limit curb cuts/widths, use shared drives
  • Extend sidewalks to U.S. 141
  • Relocate overhead utilities away from roadway where possible
  • Explore possible roundabout at U.S. 141 Intersection

Streetscaping and Landscaping
   • Use new streetlights
   • Add grass border between curb and walks, with street trees
   • Add welcome signs / landscaping at U.S. 141 intersection
   • Use extensive screening (trees, shrubs, mounds, walls, fences) to block/enhance views of:
       • Electric sub-station
       • Parking areas and gas station pavement
       • Storage yards
       • Industrial park
       • Oil tanks
                                           Page 8                           Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Blight
    • Remove derelict structures and signs and monitor add-on sign clutter
    • Relocate equipment and propane display adjacent to or in R.O.W.


Intermediate Area (Crystal Falls and Bates Townships)

We suggest the following enhancements:

Roadway
  • Creating an interpretive pull-off at Firetower
  • Protecting scenic view
  • Increasing setbacks, with buffering, for future development
  • Developing an Iron River-Crystal Falls Trail, possibly overlapping with snowmobile trail
  • Expanding the use of rest areas possibly at Bewabic State Park and Larson Park
  • Developing a mid-point combined communities sports complex
  • Reconfigure roadway at S-curve.

Signage
   • Prohibiting new billboards in viewsheds.
   • Adding new directional signs for nearby Heritage/Recreation sites
      • Larson Park
      • Fortune Pond
      • Pentoga Trail
      • Indian Burial Ground / Chicagon Lake
      • Rogers & Bates Mine Sites

Blight/Screening of Unappealing Views
    • Screen waste management site completely (from east)
    • Remove junk/materials/vehicle storage at Bates Corner
    • Screen industrial uses/structures (Bates Twp.)




                                          Page 9                         Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Iron River

To enhance the approaches to Iron River and make the downtown more inviting, we suggest:

East Approach
   • Screening parking and rear service and sidewalls in the Riverside Plaza Area
   • Screening the city D.P.W. storage yard and adjacent residential area.
   • Adding street trees in the wide r.o.w.
   • Developing a new Iron River Welcome sign at triangular parcel at curve/McDonalds.
   • Stabilizing erosion opposite plaza
   • Extending walkway to Riverside Plaza.

Downtown
  • Exploring the possibility of a 3-lane configuration
  • Screening large paved areas at road frontage and sideyards with decorative fences, walls,
    shrubs.
  • Expanding the M-189 intersection
  • Possibly adding a pocket park in the downtown (sw corner M-189)
  • Emphasize downtown access
  • Using pole/arm signal at major downtown intersections with directional signage
  • Promoting building renovation and new buildings to complement/reflect traditional
    architecture
  • Providing community events plaza at existing municipal parking area.

West Approach
  • Removing blight pockets (derelict structures and signs)
  • Regulate sign and billboard use by removing non-conforming, limiting size and number of
     signs, removing add-on signs and restricting clustered or paired billboards
  • Completing the sidewalk link on the south side of the roadway and, where possible relocate
     further from roadway
  • Provide screening (trees, shrubs, mounds) at:
          o Industrial storage yards
          o Logging yard
          o Frontage Parking areas
  • Planting/reclamation of eroded hillsides
  • Relocating overhead utilities at Howe Rd.
  • Developing Westside Iron River welcome sign area with landscaping at Gibb City Rd
  • Adding directional signage system for Heritage/Recreation sites




                                         Page 10                          Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Conceptual Designs

Several conceptual designs were prepared for the US-2 corridor. The enhancements depicted in the
conceptual designs on the following pages are based on input from community meetings and field
analysis of existing conditions. Where possible, we selected locations that were indicated as
problems areas in the community meetings or could provide the greatest impact to overall corridor
enhancement. With limited resources, the project partnership was not able to prepare designs for
the entire corridor. However, elements of each conceptual design are clearly transferable to other
corridor sections.




                                         Page 11                          Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

           Conceptual Plan 1 – Westbound US-2, West of Crystal Falls
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 12                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 2 – Westbound US-2, at Ott Road
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 13                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                             US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 3 – Eastbound US-2, East of Iron River
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                   Page 14                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                             US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 4 – Eastbound US-2, West of Iron River
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                   Page 15                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                             US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 5 – Westbound US-2, West of Iron River
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                   Page 16                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
               Conceptual Plan 6 – Westbound US-2, Split Rock
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                               Page 17                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning
     Conceptual Plan 7 – Eastbound US-2 at Eastern Crystal Falls City Limit
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 18                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

       Conceptual Plan 8 – Eastbound US-2, Crystal Falls near Sixth Street
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 19                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                              US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 9 – Eastbound US-2, Crystal Falls at 141
Current View




                                    Page 20                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Proposed Enhancements




                        Page 21                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

         Conceptual Plan 10 – Westbound US-2, Iron River, Entry to Town
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 22                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

       Conceptual Plan 11 – Westbound US-2, Iron River, East End of Town
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 23                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

            Conceptual Plan 12 – Westbound US-2, Iron River, at M-189
Current View




                                 Page 24                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Proposed Enhancements




                        Page 25                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                            US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

       Conceptual Plan 13 – Eastbound US-2, Iron River, near Gibb City Rd.
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                  Page 26                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 14 – Cross Section, US-2 West, Crystal Falls, near 141




                            Page 27                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 15 – Cross Section, US-2 East, Iron River




                      Page 28                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 16 – Plan View, Crystal Falls Township (existing)




                          Page 29                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 16 – Plan View, Crystal Falls Township (proposed)




                          Page 30                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                              US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 17 – Plan View, Iron River (existing)




                    Page 31                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                              US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 17 – Plan View, Iron River (proposed)




                    Page 32                     Iron River/Crystal Falls, MI
                                Escanaba/Gladstone


                                           US−2 Corridor
                                Visual Enhancement Plan




Prepared by:

          The US-2 Visual
       Enhancement Planning
        Project Partnership



Funded by:

       The People and Land
          (PAL) Program
               of the
      W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                  Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis
A proposal concentrating on the segment of US-2 that runs between Gladstone, Escanaba
Township, Wells Township and Escanaba was one of six project proposals from along the US-2/M-
134 corridor selected to receive visual enhancement planning assistance as part of the this project.
This segment of the US-2 corridor is located in Delta County in the South Central portion of
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
The subject of this study and plan is the section of US-2 corridor running from the northern entry
into Gladstone through Escanaba. - approximately 10 miles (see figure 1).


Corridor Overview
The portion of U.S. 2 from the north boundary of Gladstone to the west limit of Escanaba is the
most urbanized in the U.P., as well as the most traveled. The southern half of this stretch is
essentially a commercial corridor, with all the same issues one finds in other highway or commercial
sprawl areas. The north half alternates between bay views, residential and industrial.
There are many positive aesthetic attributes along this corridor. There are exceptional views of the
bay and a nice wooded bluff that parallel a section of the corridor. There are numerous tourist
accommodations and the community college campus and Pioneer Trail Park are both pleasant areas
along the corridor.
Many of the positive aspects of the corridor are overshadowed by problems. High concentrations
of billboards and commercial sign clutter, as well as unscreened industrial and material storage areas
near the roadway detract from the aesthetic appeal and give the corridor a very cluttered appearance
in places. There are also numerous driveways in many of the commercial areas that create awkward
access problems. Few sidewalk connections combined with high traffic speeds and volume make
any non-motorized transportation unlikely. Lastly, there are few clearly indicated places for tourist
information and little consistent tourist directional signage.


Gladstone (North to Southern Limit)
The approach to Gladstone from the east along US-2 is uncluttered and pleasant dominated by
woods and lowlands. Entering Gladstone the traveler is presented with long views of industrial
buildings, storage yards, rubble fill and railyards - especially at the curves. These are interspersed
with views of residences. There is little or no screening present, so the few billboards present
dominate the view. Wide right-of-ways would allow significant landscape screening of these areas.
The corridor through Gladstone seems dominated by a mix of residential neighborhoods that back
up to roadway along with some commercial and industrial areas. High traffic speeds, difficult
intersections at the city access point and no landscape screening contribute to a “pass-through”
feeling. It seems that access and directions to the city, downtown and extensive waterfront park is
overshadowed by traffic, commercial signage and the sides of buildings. Where the roadway opens




                                            Page 1                            Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


to the bay, there is no pedestrian crossing from the city to the bluff areas. There are excellent
opportunities for community welcome features at north and south ends of the corridor in
Gladstone.


Escanaba Township (Gladstone limit to Escanaba River)
This stretch of the corridor has excellent open views of Little Bay de Noc and the Escanaba
peninsula - backed by wooded bluff. There are some small businesses and well-screened residences
along the bay. However, traffic moves along at high speeds and there are no pull-offs for scenic
views or photos. Also, there is currently no non-motorized pathway along this stretch.
As you leave the side of the bay, it becomes clear that billboards are spreading and located
prominently on curves. Also, there are several prominent auto and R/V sales displays adjacent to
road. Further along, the Escanaba River crossing is visual landmark, offering views of the views of
dam, Mead plant and viaduct. There is also understated access here to the Pioneer Trail Park and
DNR facility. It is apparent that future land use in this area, particularly the development of vacant
parcels could significantly impact visual quality.


Wells Township (River to South Viaduct)
This stretch of corridor is the entry to Escanaba. The middle viaduct is a logical gateway to
Escanaba and offers an uncluttered approach with a great opportunity for community identity
graphics. Following the viaduct, the corridor goes to boulevard style, with trees in median (to
college) providing visual relief. Here the wide right-of-way would allow significantly more roadside
landscaping as well as more median landscaping. The businesses are well set back, and the service
road on northbound side provides separation.
On the eastern side of the corridor, the Cemetery is pleasant green space; however a derelict
billboard detracts from the appearance. Also, the cement products site and other industrials on east
side of road are unattractive and require screening. The Community College campus and YMCA are
attractive, with wooded, green frontage and would provide an excellent location for a community
feature or tourist information structure. Further along, the area north of south viaduct is
unattractively cluttered with billboards. This entire section of roadway has no walkways.


Escanaba Commercial Zone (Viaduct to M-35/Ludington Corner)
This section of corridor is heavily commercial, with many drives and curb-cuts and heavy traffic.
There is extensive frontage parking with no visual separation between road and parking. Few street
trees, older highway-type streetlights, very little landscaping and paving to edge of curb in most areas
further contribute to a cluttered feeling. There are currently only scattered sidewalk sections and
most pedestrian crossings are unmarked. There are also few off road connections. Competing and
inconsistent commercial signs along with scattered billboards clutter the view and make directional
signs difficult to spot.



                                            Page 3                            Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


The U.P. State Fairground is a clear opportunity for an aesthetically appealing community feature
along this stretch of roadway. The use of concentrated tree plantings in combination with a tourist
information station would work well.


West Escanaba (West limit to M35)
The West Approach to Escanaba is currently open and pleasant in many areas but will develop
quickly. There is an unscreened truck-yard and materials storage, and billboards are spreading and
dominate the view in stretches. The Hospital area is an excellent example of well screened, signed
development, and further along, the welcome sign is well-located. However, the welcome sign
needs a landscaped backdrop as it currently could be confused for another billboard.
From the welcome sign, the corridor turns commercial. There is much unscreened parking and
paving to the curb similar to the north-south commercial corridor. The view in many places is of
blank building sidewalls. There are some sidewalks. The M-35 corner is overwhelmed by 3 gas
stations, access drives, and a confusing array of signs. There is no landscaping. The “Escanaba”
sign over Ludington Ave. is visible and attractive, although blocked by streetlights and in
competition with commercial signage.




                                           Page 4                           Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Community Input – Notes from Community Meeting
                Escanaba/Gladstone/Wells Township/Escanaba Township
                           U.S. Highway 2 Visual Enhancement
                               Steering Committee Meeting
                                 Monday, April 14, 2003


Vision 2020
o A corridor with no billboards
o uniform signage throughout the corridor to include directional signage
o Screening/landscaping around businesses that is well maintained
o Tasteful, appealing well maintained signs
o Shining, freshly painted overpasses
o A sense of welcome to our communities
o Clean, well maintained communities
o Small town feel
o A sea of green space
o Our communities are so inviting that people want to stay
o A sense of pride
o Interesting flowers and trees
o People walking around
o Lots of activity
o Lively places
o Power lines have been cleaned up and where feasible, placed underground
o Grand entrances into the communities with vegetation and landscaping
o Inspiring monuments
o Access is safe and convenient
o There is a safe feel to our communities

Current Conditions

Debris
o Left over from the winter on the roads and in the parking lots
o Builds up over the winter on easements and ends up as a clump of dirt
o Bark flies off logging trucks and ends up all over
o Trash thrown from vehicles causes blight
Landscaping
o Tall weeds and grass
o Not maintained
o Landscaping is expensive and whatever we plant has to be accommodated by our short growing
  season
Unsightly businesses
o Run down and inappropriate fencing
o Untidy appearance
o No screening
o Zoning issues
                                         Page 5                         Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Signage
o Dated
o Some don’t serve any function
o Confusing
o No uniformity
o Poor directional signage
o Things are hard to find
o Lincoln/Washington – “unless you’re from here, you don’t know it’s there” – end up getting lost
Signage continued
o Too big
o Too high
o Not consolidated
o Our ordinances don’t address these issues
Rail overpasses
o Rusty
o The banks near the overpasses are not maintained and are full of weeds
Congestion
o Not safe
o Not inviting
o Too many curb cuts
o Traffic is moving too fast

Location of welcome center – visitor information
o Not visible

Locations to be addressed….
o Rail yards in Gladstone
o The corridor in Wells Township from Main Street to the river
o Viaduct – bridge in Escanaba
o Car dealership – used cars – rv area in Escanaba Township

Some suggested solutions…
o Reconfigure the 4 lanes to two lanes with service roads/turn lanes with more greenery and traffic
  calming/over pass near schools
o More frequent road right-of-way maintenance
o Beautify with natural species
o Encourage formation of ‘adopt a highway’ groups
o Secure easements on private property to clean up power lines – locate lines back further from the
  road right-of-way
o Serious, well thought out, comprehensive master plan
o Knowing where development is going to occur
o Pursue some type of uniform signage or coordinated system/possibly forming a joint authority
o Develop a property inventory and present design plan to property owner for improvement
o Develop a beautification strategy
o Designate bike paths and explore funding options
o Improve landscaping throughout the corridor
o Improve directional signage
                                          Page 6                           Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                  Suggested Improvements
Based on Field Visual Analysis and input from Community Meetings, we have developed a series of
recommendations for enhancing the study corridor. We summarize the recommendations in this
section and then present some conceptual designs depicting enhancements in the following section.

While the corridor is very diverse and different segments will benefit from different enhancement
activities, there is one suggested improvement that we feel will benefit the entire corridor. We
suggest the development of a uniform system of attractive, distinct signs for points of interest, main
roads, etc. for the combined communities. The signs could possibly incorporate a single logo or
theme (e.g., the “heart” of Upper Michigan or Bay De Noc.). These signs would be used for all
Tourist/Recreational facilities along the corridor (e.g., historic markers, scenic pull-offs, Wells Sports
Complex, Felch Grade Snowmobile Trailhead, etc.) providing regional consistency for visitors.


Gladstone (North to Southern Limit)
For the Gladstone area, we suggest the following:
       • Using a divided highway or boulevard style roadway with screening landscaping in the
           median
       • Developing a prominent ‘welcome’ feature for westbound travel at initial curve
       • Beginning directional signage early on the approach
       • Limiting or restricting billboards
       • Using large, dense tree/shrub masses, including evergreens (native) in wide right-of-way
           to screen industrial buildings, yard storage areas and rail yards
       • Reclaiming the dump/fill areas
       • Providing an overpass or underpass pedestrian crossing of U.S. 2 at M-35 or Delta
       • Developing community “welcome” feature on triangular parcel near south city line.


Escanaba Township (Gladstone limit to Escanaba River)
For this section of roadway, we suggest the following:

Shoreline Roadway
       • Prohibiting billboards on both sides of the roadway
       • Developing a scenic view pull off at midpoint
       • Developing an off-road trail on shore side of U.S. 2

Auto & R/V Sales
      • Developing a setback requirement for vehicles
      • Requiring landscaped frontage

Signage
      • Removing all non-conforming signs

                                             Page 7                            Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       •   Prohibiting future billboards and limiting business signs
       •   Prohibiting all paired billboards

Landscaping
      • Screening all existing industrial buildings, storage and parking with mounds, walls, fences
         and plantings, paying special attention to sidewalls

Blight and Utilities
       • Enforcing blight ordinances with unmaintained properties.
       • Refurbishing south viaduct
       • Relocating or burying on-road power lines, especially crossing overhead wires

Future development
      • Requiring substantial setbacks for buildings and parking, with plant buffer at roadway


Wells Township (River to South Viaduct)
For this section of the study corridor, we recommend the following:
        • Refurbish middle viaduct with bold graphics depicting local heritage/recreation
            opportunities and adding decorative landscaping around the viaduct
        • Enhancing the boulevard style roadway by:
                        Adding mounds and decorative tree/shrub plantings
                        Relocating overhead utilities near road
                        Adding new street lighting at intersections only
                        Locating directional signs in the median
        • Adding a Visitor Information Center for the region with an after-hours kiosk, potentially
            at College Ave., on west side
        • Enhancing the commercial area by:
                        Screening frontage parking with mounds, shrubs, trees in the wide right-of-
                        way
                        Screening building sides by plantings at side property lines
        • Developing a north-south trail/walkway, with well marked crossings at signalized
            intersections.
        • Restricting or removing billboard clusters, especially at south viaduct
        • Screening parking in the service road area by adding street trees
        • Screening storage yards, industrial buildings (sidewalls) with mounds, trees, fences (in
            and out of r.o.w.) in the industrial zone



Escanaba Commercial Zone (Viaduct to M-35/Ludington Corner)
For this section of the study corridor, we recommend the following:


                                           Page 8                          Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Roadway
     • Reducing curb-cuts / access points
     • Providing continuous sidewalks and well marked crossings

Streetscape
       • Adding brick pavers between curb and walk in narrow r.o.w. areas
       • Adding new, distinctive street lights with banner mounts
       • Using pole/arm signals, with street signs at major intersections
       • Adding street trees, possibly in raised planters
       • Developing pocket parks at available parcels

Landscaping
      • Screening frontage parking areas with shrubs, walls, fences and mounds, as
            space allows
      • Screening sidewalls, storage and side property lines
      • Removing frontage parking/paving, where possible

Signage
      • Removing non-conforming signs
      • Restricting multiple signs, add-ons, “temporary” signs, billboards

Fairground
       • Adding new signage at corners, with landscaping
       • Adding a new decorative fence
       • Creating a possible tourist information area



West Escanaba (West limit to M35)
For this section of the study corridor, we recommend the following:

Roadway
     •     Substantially limiting new billboards on the approach to Escanaba
     •     Limiting access in commercial area by consolidating drives or using service drives
     •     Requiring substantial setbacks for new development
     •     Screening truckyards and open storage along approach

Landscape and Streetscape
      • Extending streetscape treatment through existing commercial area with sidewalks,
        streetlights, and pavers
      • Limiting frontage paving, screening parking and sidewalls or sideyards

M-35 Intersection
      • Removing current signal light and using pole/arm signals
                                          Page 9                           Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       •   Relocating overhead utilities
       •   Reducing curb cuts at gas stations and adding corner landscape treatments
       •   Limiting signs and removing add on or temporary signs

Welcome area at Willow Creek
     • Adding focal and backdrop landscaping
     • Removing fence
     • Creating a possible informational pull-off




                                         Page 10                          Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Conceptual Designs

Several conceptual designs were prepared for the US-2 corridor. The enhancements depicted in the
conceptual designs on the following pages are based on input from community meetings and field
analysis of existing conditions. Where possible, we selected locations that were indicated as
problems areas in the community meetings or could provide the greatest impact to overall corridor
enhancement. With limited resources, the project partnership was not able to prepare designs for
the entire corridor. However, elements of each conceptual design are clearly transferable to other
corridor sections.




                                         Page 11                          Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


           Conceptual Plan 1 – Gladstone, Westbound US-2 at Railyard
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 12                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


         Conceptual Plan 2 – Gladstone, Eastbound US-2 Entering Curve
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 13                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


         Conceptual Plan 3 – Escanaba/Wells Township, North of Viaduct
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 14                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        Conceptual Plan 4 – Escanaba, Westbound US-2 at Escanaba River
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 15                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


         Conceptual Plan 5 – Escanaba/Wells Township, Westbound US-2
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 16                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        Conceptual Plan 6 – Escanaba, Westbound US-2 at North City Limit
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 17                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


     Conceptual Plan 7 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, South of Danforth Rd.
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 18                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


         Conceptual Plan 8 – Escanaba, Westbound US-2 at Fairgrounds
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 19                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


          Conceptual Plan 9 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2 entering Curve
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 20                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


      Conceptual Plan 10 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, N. of Ludington St.
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 21                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


           Conceptual Plan 11 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, West Side
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 22                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


         Conceptual Plan 12 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, Entering Town
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 23                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       Conceptual Plan 13 – Escanaba, Eastbound US-2, West of City Limit
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 24                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 14 – Cross Section, Westbound US-2, South of Gladstone




                            Page 25                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Conceptual Plan 15 – Cross Section, Westbound US-2, Escanaba




                        Page 26                     Escanaba / Gladstone, MI
                                    Mackinac County


                                      US−2/M−134 Corridor
                                 Visual Enhancement Plan




Prepared by:


           The US-2 Visual
        Enhancement Planning
         Project Partnership




Funded by:


        The People and Land
           (PAL) Program
                of the
       W.K. Kellogg Foundation
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                   Existing Conditions – Summary of Field Analysis
A proposal concentrating on the segments of US-2 and M-134 that run the entire length of
Mackinac County was one of six project proposals from along the US-2/M-134 corridor selected to
receive visual enhancement planning assistance as part of the this project. This segment of the
corridor is located in the Southeastern portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
The subject of this study and plan are select areas along the US-2 /M-134 corridor in Mackinac
County (see figure 1)


Corridor Overview
With U.S. 2 and M-134, Mackinac County has perhaps the longest stretch of scenic highway in
Michigan. There are many views of lakes, bays, islands and dunes. Preservation of this splendid
natural environment, a primary attraction for visitors, should be the main focus.


Positive Attributes
This stretch of corridor has many positive qualities. There are numerous recreational opportunities
along the route, such as campgrounds, beaches, overlooks and public access and fishing sites. There
are also historic sites and museums in St. Ignace, Hessel, Cedarville and Brevort. There is readily
accessible information and accommodations for tourists and travelers. For instance, visitors can
stop at the Mackinac Bridge Welcome Center or Hiawatha N.F. Visitor Center. Public lands, federal
and state, abound and offer plenty of recreational opportunities for visitors and residents. To date,
there is limited commercial development along the corridor. Instead, the visitor sees all the natural
beauty of the area. In addition, the corridor has excellent roadways which have only moderate
traffic.


Problem Areas
While the US-2/M-134 corridor running through Mackinac County generally has appealing visual
character, there are areas where it is deteriorating. Blight is present in isolated, mostly rural pockets
and most often takes the form of:
        •   Derelict buildings and/or sign structures
        •   Not maintained buildings
        •   Yard storage of vehicles, wrecks, junk materials

In some areas, signage is an obvious problem. Inappropriate or poorly placed billboards, cluttered
and add-on signs and derelict sign structures all contribute to unattractiveness. The design and
features of some towns exhibit an unappealing, “pass-through” character. There are very few
walkways in any of the towns. Lastly, on some portions of the roadway, high traffic speeds and a
wide roadway also contribute to difficulty stopping.



                                             Page 1                                  Mackinac County, MI
                                                       US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


M-134
From I-75 to Hessel, M-134 is primarily a wooded corridor with natural forested views and hidden
residences. There are excellent views of the bay. However, two of the first impressions a visitor
gets are of a derelict gas station at the Pine River and an unscreened maintenance area at Nunn’s
Road. The Les Cheneaux Welcome sign is dated and not very appealing and there are several
billboards present in undesirable areas. From Cedarville to the Eastern County line, M-134 is
primarily rural and wooded with many excellent bay views.
Hessel and Cedarville
Entering Hessel from the west and just east of town, there are several billboards. The Hessel
Welcome signs at the intersection of 3-Mile Road are dated and the intersection needs definition
with landscaping to draw visitors into the village. The west approach to Cedarville is filling up with
billboards. In Cedarville, there are issues with access as the commercial area has many drives and no
separation between road and parking. There are no walks. Overhead utilities and many signs of
various design and condition add to visual clutter.
In Cedarville, some specific problems noted:
        •   A junk/materials storage area east of town is unscreened
        •   The M-129 intersection is not well defined
        •   The Tourist Information Center on west approach is easy to miss
        •   There is little directional signage:
        •   Safety concern at school


Some noted positives:
        •   Attractive well maintained motel
        •   Museums on or near M-134


US-2
Along the access to US-2 near I-75 in St. Ignace, there is a wide right-of-way with extensive grass on
both sides. There is a confusing jumble of St. Ignace welcome signs confronting the visitor near I-
75. There are large parking areas at the commercial plaza and no sidewalks connections to
downtown.
Heading West from I-75 along US-2, there is a wide right-of-way, with generous building setbacks
and extensive grass. There is some commercial sign clutter and parking is rarely screened. There are
beautiful bluff top views to Lake Michigan at the golf course and at overlooks. Billboards and
derelict signs spoil the views in some locations. Also, auto salvage and auto sales to the right of way
detract from the view and add confusion. The Gros Cap Cemetery is an interesting historic site.



                                              Page 3                              Mackinac County, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


From Gros Cap to Brevort, the roadway is near lake level and the corridor winds through dense
forest. There are very scenic views of lake, bays, islands, dunes, rivers, wetlands and numerous
rustic campgrounds and pull-offs for beaches and overlooks. The occurrence of billboards is
minimal; however, they are unfortunately placed in scenic locations. There are several derelict signs
and sign structures. The Hiawatha National Forest Visitor Center, an attractive building, is partially
screened and not well-marked for the visitor. The maintenance yard, on the other hand, is quite
visible.
The town of Brevort has a pass-through quality, but it could make and interesting stop. There are
attractive lake views, a visually prominent historic church and cemetery and some newer condos that
are all visually pleasing. However, high traffic speeds (50 m.p.h.), several derelict signs and buildings
and some sign clutter discourage stopping. There is development very close to the roadway and no
walks.
From Brevort to Naubinway, US-2 runs mostly through natural forest. The roadway parallels the
top of a bluff at times, with occasional framed views of lake and stretches of coastline road. There is
a popular scenic roadside park at the Cut River with a trail to the beach. Also the, Northernmost
point of Lake Michigan is found along this segment. There is also an interesting unmarked cemetery
at Epoufette. This stretch of corridor has very little development with campgrounds, overlooks, rest
areas and beach pull-offs the most prominent features. There are unsightly billboards and auto
salvage at Epoufette as well as some vernacular older resort cabins (some derelict).
There is a nice east approach to Naubinway which runs along the bay. However, in Naubinway, US-
2 can best be characterized as highway commercial strip on the south side, with sign clutter, wide
frontage parking, no screening, and minimal landscaping. High traffic speeds (50 m.p.h.) and
unscreened propane tanks and a DNR service yard at main corner add to the unsightliness.
From Naubinway to the Western County Line, there are less obvious stopping points or recreational
opportunities along the corridor. There is a short bay view approximately 1 mile west of
Naubinway. There are several nice isolated lodgings, restaurants and access to Milakokia Lake,
camping and Manistique Lakes. However, this is primarily a pass-through area. Adding to this
impression are several, specific instances:
        •   Unscreened auto service, salvage, wreckers 7 miles west of Engadine
        •   Gould City intersection: unattractive derelict buildings and trailers, junk storage, utility
            substation, poorly maintained motel/restaurant
        •   H-33 intersection: metal buildings, derelict store, salvage sales in field
        •   Western approach: uninviting: “tourist trap” impression, truckyard, junk sales
        •   Gustafson’s Resort Motel/gas station (blight)




                                             Page 4                                  Mackinac County, MI
                                                 US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


               Community Input – Notes from Community Meeting

                                    Mackinac County
                          U.S. Highway 2/M-134 Visual Enhancement
                                  Steering Committee Meeting
                                    Tuesday, April 15, 2003

What We Want to Preserve!
Naubinway – West
       • Forests
       • Shoreline
       • Businesses
       • Inland lakes
Hessel – Cedarville The LesCheneaux
       • View of the water
       • Integrity of nature
       • Scenic beauty
       • Character of the area
St. Ignace – Moran Township
       • Scenic views
       • Parks
       • Historical sites, buildings and local communities
       • Small town atmosphere
       • Lake shoreline – preserving the natural environment
       • Turn-outs
       • Greenbelts
       • Trails
       • The red/white/blue moose


Our Vision for 2020
Naubinway – West
      • Forests
      • More business
      • Improved roads
      • Improved storefronts
      • Clean, attractive, landscaped communities
Hessel – Cedarville The LesCheneaux
      • Abundant nature and scenic views
      • Effective zoning
      • Building a theme for design
                                        Page 5                         Mackinac County, MI
                                                 US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       • Small signs
       • Trees/landscaping
       • Gateway signage
       • Bike/walking pathways between the communities
       • Pedestrian friendly communities
       • Buried electrical lines or less visual
St. Ignace – Moran Township
       • Redevelopment of Father Marquette Park
       • Bike and hiking trails expanded
       • Everything we want to preserve, preserved
       • Elimination of towers
       • More roadside parks and trails
       • Elimination of above ground utilities
       • Safe parking areas and access to the lakeshore
       • Curbs, sidewalks, and streetscape through the communities
       • More wild flowers along corridors
       • More greenery down streets
       • Less billboards
       • Appropriate sign identifying the county
       • Public restrooms for beach areas
       • Off set service roads
       • Landscaped parking lots with low lighting
       • Guard rails beautified or eliminated
       • Sidewalks
       • Commercial development

Current Conditions - Issues
Naubinway – West
      • BLIGHT
             o Junkyards
             o Abandoned buildings
      • Landscaping
          o Poor maintenance on road right-of-way
          o Weeds
          o Lack of maintenance on signs
Hessel – Cedarville The LesCheneaux
      • Blight
          o Junks cars
          o Empty buildings
          o Lack of building maintenance
      • Landscaping
          o Lack of
                                        Page 6                         Mackinac County, MI
                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       •   Signs
           o Too big
           o Inappropriate places
           o Too many DOT signs
           o Lack of enforcement/zoning
       •   Utility power lines
       •   Community signs
           o Not consistent in design
           o Color
       •   Empty commercial buildings

St. Ignace – Moran Township
       • Abandoned signs
       • Abandoned gas stations & businesses
       • Economic development vs visuals
       • Trash
       • Temporary signs
       • Big tall lights
       • Community development costs/cleaning costs
       • Slagg’s and Motion Auto’s
       • Snow fencing along ‘the dunes’
       • Lack of directional signage for ski trails, attractions
       • Lack of landscaping
       • Rudy’s outhouses


Our Top Five
Naubinway – West
      • Corner of US 2 & H 33
      • Corner of US 2 & North side of Gould City Road
      • South side of US 2 and Miliakoia Lake Road area
      • Corner of US 2 at Beach Road 2 miles east of Naubinway
      • North side of US 2 east of Miliakoia Lake Road

Hessel – Cedarville The LesCheneaux
      • Blight
          o Old cars, abandoned/unused buildings, derelict buildings
          o Auto Repair Shop
          o Old Red Owl
          o Old Tool & Die Shop
      • Maintain scenic/water viewsheds
          o McMays Bay Overlook
          o Mackinac Bay
                                            Page 7                         Mackinac County, MI
                                                 US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



       •   Signage
           o MDOT
           o Commercial
       •   Landscaping
           o Downtown Cedarville
           o Corner in Hessel
       •   Bike/walking pathway between Hessel and Cedarville (our most important)

St. Ignace – Moran Township
       • 500` west and 500` east of Portage Road
           o (blight and landscaping – Motion Auto and Slaggs)
       • Eliminate all abandoned buildings and signs of US 2
       • Manning’s Tire – clean up blight and add landscaping
       • Old gas station on the Pine River (M134)




                                        Page 8                             Mackinac County, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Suggested Improvements

Preservation and enhancement of the natural environment and spectacular views found in Mackinac
County are a top priority. The most valuable viewsheds to protect are shorelines, river crossings,
dunes, elevated vistas and wetlands.


Blight
Along the corridor in Mackinac County, there are several examples of unscreened junk storage or
maintenance yards. These should be cleaned up, removed or screened with evergreen landscaping
or attractive fences. There are also numerous derelict signs, sign structures and buildings. These
should be removed. There is inconsistent mowing of the right of way and yards along the corridor
which detracts from the visual qualities, this should be addressed.


Signs, Billboards and Product Display
Billboards should be removed and future billboards prohibited in select scenic or natural areas.
Where they are allowed, the ordinance should require screening of the rear face. Commercial signs
should be limited in number and size and setback from the roadway. Non-conforming signs should
be removed. Add on signage should be prohibited. Product displays should be maintained with
enforced setback and only allowed on a certain percentage of frontages. Side views of auto/vehicle
displays should be screened. Develop display “pods” vs. full frontage displays.


Small Town Atmosphere
Having an inviting, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere is the key to pulling travelers off the highway and
luring them to spend some time (and money) in the small communities of Mackinac County. St.
Ignace, Hessel, Cedarville, Brevort and Naubinway can all be interesting stops. Measures to make
them more attractive include:
   •     Walks, trails & stopping point (overlooks, interpretive exhibits)
   •     Slower traffic speeds
   •     Highlighting historic structures & sites
   •     Streetscape elements & landscaping
   •     Separation from the highway, feeling safe
   •     Local, vintage character
   •     Sign & blight controls
   •     Maintenance & cleanliness
   •     Directions to recreational sites
                                             Page 9                              Mackinac County, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Directional and Identity Signage
Most tourists will not perceive of Mackinac County as one entity, so it would be best to identify
attractions with distinct areas (e.g., LesCheneaux, Straits, Hiawatha, etc.). Each area should have
welcome points and signs. Directional signage to attractions, recreation, and tourism businesses
should use the Tourist Oriented Directional System (T.O.D.S.), incorporating the area’s identity
(logo/name/theme). The purpose of the T.O.D.S. system is to place clear, uniform signs close to
the road and eliminate the need for more, larger advertising signs.


Individual Community or Segment Priorities
The following section lists several, specific steps that have been identified for individual
communities or segments along the M-134 corridor through Mackinac County.
I-75 to Hessel
         •   Remove derelict gas station
         •   Screen maintenance yard @ Nunn Road
         •   Replace Les Cheneaux Welcome Sign & add landscaping


Hessel
         •   Limit/remove billboards
         •   New Hessel welcome sign/community directory/landscaping @ 3-Mile
         •   Reduced size commercial signs
         •   Bring walks from harbor to M-134
         •   Create Hessel-Cedarville Trail, with stopping points (3.3 miles)
         •   Protect bay views with development controls


Cedarville
         •   Billboard control/removal
         •   Relocate overhead utilities
         •   Reduce sign clutter (commercial & traffic)
         •   Use more T.O.D.S. & directional signage (highlight museums)
         •   Define M-129 intersection with streetscape, walks to harbor
         •   Add walks @ M-134

                                            Page 10                                 Mackinac County, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        •    Separate road & parking areas with curb/drives
        •    Clean-up/screen auto & materials yards east side (fencing, planting)


The following section briefly lists several, specific steps that have been identified for individual
communities or segments along the US-2 corridor through Mackinac County.


St. Ignace
        •    Consolidate Welcome signs and add focal landscaping
        •    Screen commercial/parking areas with trees, shrubs, berms
        •    Relocate utilities
        •    Add sidewalk connection to downtown
        •    Replace directional signs, use established St. Ignace logo, highlight museums


U.S. 2 Moran Township
        •    Remove/screen blight areas
        •    Screen parking and service areas in commercial
        •    Reduce sign clutter, remove derelict signs
        •    Future development setback and buffering with connecting service drives and joint
             access
        •    Directional signage


Gros Cap to Brevort
        •    Preserve scenic viewsheds and natural environment
        •    Remove billboards in scenic, shoreline locations (example: @ Pointe aux Chenes River
             bridge)
        •    Use T.O.D.S. for businesses
        •    Remove derelict signs, structures
        •    Highlight N.F.S. “Visitor Center” with better sign & visual prominence




                                            Page 11                                  Mackinac County, MI
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



Brevort
      •   Welcome sign
      •   Remove/renovate derelict structures
      •   Remove derelict signs
      •   Slow traffic (possible 3 lanes)
      •   Add off-road sidewalk
      •   Highlight historic church, cemetery
      •   Provide overlook


Brevort - Naubinway
      •   Preserve scenic, natural qualities
      •   Epoufette: limit billboards, screen auto salvage, identify cemetery


Naubinway
      •   Reduce traffic speed
      •   Reduce commercial sign clutter
      •   T.O.D.S. for local attractions
      •   Widen and plant landscape buffer between U.S. 2 and parking.
      •   Screen propane, DNR service yard


Naubinway - West County Line
      •   Address blight issues with clean-up/screening
      •   Provide welcome feature at west county line (possible information kiosk)




                                            Page 12                             Mackinac County, MI
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                     Conceptual Designs

Several conceptual designs were prepared for the US-2/M-134 corridor. The enhancements
depicted in the conceptual designs on the following pages are based on input from community
meetings and field analysis of existing conditions. Where possible, we selected locations that were
indicated as problems areas in the community meetings or could provide the greatest impact to
overall corridor enhancement. With limited resources, the project partnership was not able to
prepare designs for the entire corridor. However, elements of each conceptual design are clearly
transferable to other corridor sections.




                                          Page 13                                Mackinac County, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 1 – Cedarville, Eastbound M-134
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 14                          Mackinac County, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

            Conceptual Plan 2 – Hessel, M-134 Eastbound at 3 Mile Rd.
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 15                         Mackinac County, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

      Conceptual Plan 3 – Les Cheneaux, Eastbound M-134 West of Hessel
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 16                         Mackinac County, MI
                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 4 – St. Ignace, Eastbound US-2
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                               Page 17                          Mackinac County, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 5 – Westbound US-2, West of I-75
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 18                         Mackinac County, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

      Conceptual Plan 6 – Eastbound US-2, Moran Township at Portage Rd.
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 19                         Mackinac County, MI
                                           US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 7– US-2 Westbound, Moran Township
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                 Page 20                         Mackinac County, MI
                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

                Conceptual Plan 8 – US-2 Eastbound, Brevort
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                               Page 21                         Mackinac County, MI
                                        US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

                   Conceptual Plan 9 – US-2, Hog Island
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                              Page 22                         Mackinac County, MI
                                          US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

               Conceptual Plan 10 – Eastbound US-2, Naubinway
Current View




Proposed Enhancements




                                Page 23                         Mackinac County, MI
                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 11 – Cross Section, M-134 Eastbound, Cedarville




                         Page 24                         Mackinac County, MI
                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning

Conceptual Plan 12 – Cross Section, US-2 Westbound, St. Ignace




                        Page 25                         Mackinac County, MI
                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                           Achieving Results/Implementation

The previous sections of this plan focused on an analysis of existing conditions along the US-2 study
area. We summarized findings and recommendations from community meetings and combined
these comments with professional field analysis. We detailed suggestions for improving the US-2
study corridor and presented conceptual enhancement designs along the corridor. This section of
the report will present an overview of how to implement the changes detailed in the conceptual
designs.
It should be clearly recognized that implementing some or the entire series of corridor
enhancements proposed in this plan is no small endeavor. In many cases, it may be best to start with
a smaller pilot project to show what can be accomplished. Either way, moving forward will require
the continued commitment of the community steering team and other key stakeholders. New
relationships between local officials, business owners and other community interests will have to be
formed and nourished. It will require significant new sources of funding, substantial regulatory
changes, and serious voluntary efforts. This is a long term process and one that is likely to change
over time.

Working Together
The implementation of a visual protection/enhancement projects for the US-2 highway corridor in
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula could potentially be accomplished in several ways. Local areas acting
on their own initiative could independently plan and undertake projects. Collectively, these
independent efforts could result in significant protection/enhancement. An example of such a
corridor is US-31 through Grand Traverse, Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet Counties in the Lower
Peninsula where the communities of Traverse City and environs, Elk Rapids, Charlevoix,
Petoskey/Bay View, Alanson, Pellston, and Mackinaw City have all worked independently and
without coordination to contribute to visual enhancement of that highway corridor. The draw back
to this approach can be a lack of visual enhancement/preservation continuity along the highway
corridor and potential disregard for the corridor in rural areas.
A better, and perhaps more fruitful, approach to the protection/enhancement of arterial corridors
that pass through a number of communities interspersed with rural areas, is to establish a
supervisory or oversight body. This organization can work to plan, promote, and coordinate
appropriate protection/enhancement activities throughout a large geographical area such as the
Upper Peninsula. The National Scenic Byways Program provides a model for such an organization
with its advocates groups. These groups are typically organized as non-profits that take on the
responsibility for the preparation of “corridor management plans” which identify key resources,
threats to those resources, preservation strategies, and marketing plans.
If appropriately organized as a nonprofit such an advocacy group has the ability to receive grants
from charitable foundations, certain governmental funding, and tax exempt gifts from a variety of
private donors. These funds can be used to support a staff and its expenses and/or to fund a variety
of projects along the roadway corridor.
The strength of such an organization, however, normally comes through its advocate members that
volunteer and dedicate their time and energy to a variety of activities that support a planned and
coordinated preservation/restoration program for the entire geographic area. Such an organization


                                              Page 3
                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


brings together groups from various local communities, creating a synergism among interested
parties which can breathe life and longevity into the preservation/restoration effort.
Persistence to achieve the goals and objectives of a preservation/restoration effort is essential as
implementation will not be achieved overnight. Rather, significant results will be realized over years
as small accomplishments begin to accumulate and the effort snowballs to achieve a critical mass.
That critical mass is essential to overcome false starts, political inertia, limited financial resources,
resistance to change, resistance to regulate, burn out, etc.
A desire to imitate or “keep up with the Joneses” can be a driving force for community change.
Often a forward-thinking community, by way of example, can inspire similar activity by other
communities. This can be seen in the language found within the various zoning ordinances which
are in place in communities along the U.S. 2 corridor. For example, essentially the same language
requiring screening between residential and commercial and industrial uses, right down to specifying
the plants to use, appears in several zoning ordinances adopted by communities along the corridor.
Obviously one of these communities was the first to adopt such language. Others then followed the
example of the first. The inspiration for visual enhancement/preservation projects can spread in a
similar manner. For example, Community A adopts a billboard ordinance which is effective in
stopping the visual blight of billboards. Community B learns of A’s success and adopts such an
ordinance for its community.
A regional organization which brings the various stakeholders together can provide the inspiration,
education, technical expertise and financial resources necessary to get the ball rolling and to keep it
moving avoiding project melt down over time. It can assist the various component local groups in
accessing and/or working with the many private and public resources which either exist or could be
created to contribute to the effort.
There are many fine examples of regional organizations which have been established to assure the
successful implementation of a plan such as the proposed UP Transportation Visual Enhancement
Project. One such organization is the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in Washington State.
Information about that trust as an example may be obtained from mtsgreenway@tpl.org. A
Michigan example is the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy at Traverse City
(www.landtrust.org) and the Little Traverse Bay Regional Land Conservancy at Petoskey/Harbor
Springs (www.landtrust.org) that are working together to undertake protection/enhancement
projects along the U.S. 31 corridor between Traverse City and Mackinaw City.

Implementation Tools and Resources
There were a number of different issues and suggestions raised during community meetings and
most issues have been incorporated into the conceptual designs. In this section, we will suggest
some tools and resources to address the most common problems. It should be remembered that in
many cases, applications for enhancement funding, especially to state agencies, require plans and the
conceptual designs can be useful for this purpose.

For a comprehensive matrix of problems/issues and suggested vehicles to address these problems,
see Table 1. (presented in four sections 1-4). This matrix identifies approximately eighty (80)
resources which could have a potential roll in implementing the protection/enhancement effort




                                                Page 4
                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


being proposed. These resources range from providing advocacy support to volunteer labor. They
have been identified in the matrix as follows:

                     A     Advocacy/community support
                     E     Education support
                     F     Funding support
                     L     Project labor
                     R     Regulatory requirements
                     T     Technical support
                     V     Volunteer labor


       A. Advocacy/community support can come from a variety of individuals or groups. These
          groups are important players that can send a positive message regarding the need and
          community support for the project and can challenge local politicians and governmental
          officials to act in a positive and responsible way to implement contributing activities
          such as enacting appropriate zoning ordinances, sign regulations, etc.

       E. Education support regarding the benefits of implementing a restoration/enhancement
          project is available from a variety of sources such as the MSU Extension Service or the
          staff of the various Conservation Districts.

       F. Funding support is available from a variety of fund raising activities, to grants from
          private and public sources, to the better utilization of the funds expended by
          governmental agencies in particular those responsible for the roadways and their
          corridors.

       L. Project labor is either staff or contract labor which is assigned to
          preservation/restoration efforts by the agencies responsible for the roadways and their
          corridors. It may also come in the form of prison work crews which are available to
          assist communities.

       R. Regulatory requirements are those which are set out in laws adopted to regulate the use
          of land. They include zoning and building codes and a variety of nuisance ordinances
          which can regulate blight, signage, landscaping, lighting, land use, historic sites etc.




                                               Page 5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Table 1 - Achieving Results

                                                                                                                                                                                      Private/Community Efforts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Public/Governmental Efforts




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Duty to maintain propertry provisions
                                                                                                                                                       Tourism & Recreation Promotion Organization




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Governing Council, Commission or Board
                                                              Local - Regional - State - Federal




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Community Beautification Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Improved maintenance proceedures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Comprehensive plan provisions
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Industrial Development Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Zoning Ordinance & Enforcement




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Capital Improvement Program
                                                                                                   Local, State, National Foundations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Community Education Program
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Scenic Michigan - Scenic America




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      County Planning Commissions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roadway Littering Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Park Board or Commission




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Public Works, Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Environmental Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              County Zoning Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Junk car provisions




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Park Boards & Commissions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Blight & Junk Ordinances
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Landscape Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cities - Villages - Townships




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Master Gardner Program
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Master Planner Program
Problem Issue/Work Topics




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Erosion control projects
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Adopt-a-road programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Sidewalk Ordinance




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Planning Commission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chamber of Commerce




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Grass Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blight Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sign Ordinance




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Police Department




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              County Commissions




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Roadside projects




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Conservation District
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Road Commissions




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Sherifs Department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Fire Department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Historical Societies




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Timber Companies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Trail Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Jail work crews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Utility Companies




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Day of Caring




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Road Patrols
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MSU Extension
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conservancies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Service Clubs
                                                                                                                                        Garden Clubs




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DDA - TIF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         United Way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Railroads




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Courts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Local
Blight, Junk/other Property Maintenance Issues
   Deteriorated/abandoned buildings                                                                       F A                                                   A                                            F A                                                          A                                                         F                                                                                                                                                 V                                                            R R                                                                                                                           R                                                        R                                                         R                     F                                                                                             F                                                                 V                                         R                          R                                                      R                                                                                                                                                                                                    E                        E                                                                                                                    L                 R
   Junk cars                                                                                              F A                                                   A                                              A                                                          A                                                         F                                                                                                                                                 V                                                            FR R                                                                                                    R                     R                                                        R                                                                                                                                                                                                           R                                                                             R                          R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                     R              L                 R
   Scrap metal and other debris                                                                           F A                                                   A                                              A                                                          A                                                         F                                                                                                                                                 V                                                          R    R                                                                                                                          R                                                        R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E                        E                                                                                                                    L                 R
   Unkept houses, buildings and landscape                                                                 F AV                                                  A                                              A                                                          A                                                         F                                                                                                                                                 V                                                            R R                                                                                                                           R                                                        R                  R                                      R                                                                                                                                                                                                                               R                          R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  V                        E                        E                                                                                                                    L                 R
   Coordination of garbage pickup/collection sites                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
   Maintenance of highway right-of-way
      Dead animals along roadway                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       L                     L
      Hillside/road cut erosion                                                                                                         AV                                                                                                      A AV                                                                                V                                   A AV                                                                                                          V                                                          F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           L                                                                                                                    V                                                                                                          L                                                           L
      Debris from logging and similar trucks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          V                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  R                                                                                 V L                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            R              L                 R
      Sand removal from winter maintenance                                                                                                A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                       A                                                      A                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L                                                                                                                                                                                                   L
      Damaged curbs from snow removal                                                                                                     A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                       A                                                      A                                                                                                                                                                                       F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      F                                                L                                     F                                                                                                                                                             FL
      Trash thrown from vehicles                                                                                                          A                     A                                                                               A                         S                                                       A                                                      V                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            R                                                                                                                                  R                                                                                 V L                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           L
   Rusty or unattractive rail overpasses                                                                  F                               V                     V                                                                               A                         V                                                       FV                                                     V                                                L                                           V
   Inappropriate and insensitive display of merchandise                                                                                   A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                       A                                                      A                                                                                                            A                                                                                                                   R                                                                                                                                                                         R                     A                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E
   Non-enforcement of existing ordinances                                                                                                                       A                                                                               A                         A                                                       A A                                                    A                                                                                                                                                                                       R                                        R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R                                   R                    R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     R                    R                                R
Signage
   Number and clustering of signs (too many)                                                                                              A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                             R                                                        R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                R                    R                                R
   Dated or abandoned/poorly maintained signs                                                                                             A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
   Inappropriate, oversized, poorly lighted signs                                                                                         A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Sign colors                                                                                                                         A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Sign consistency                                                                                                                    A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Sign shapes                                                                                                                         A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Sign borders                                                                                                                        A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Sign materials                                                                                                                      A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Confusing messages                                                                                                                  A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
      Improper placement                                                                                                                  A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
   Lack of recognition and directional signage                                                                                            A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R
   Overly numerous, over sized and poorly placed billboards                                                                               A                     A                                                                               A                         A                                                         A                                                                                                                                                                 A                                          R                               R                                        R                                                                                              R                                                                                                                                        R                     R                                                                                                                      R                                               R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E                                                                                                                                      R


    A = Advocacy/community support
    E = Education support
    F = Funding support
    L = Project labor
    R = Regulatory requirements
    T = Technical support
    V = Volunteer labor

    Page 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Table 1 - Achieving Results

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Public/Governmental Efforts




                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Organization & sponsorship of topical seminars
                                                                                                                                                               Grant writing assistance to local & county gov.
                                                                                                                 Technical assistance to local & county gov.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Design of Tribal communities & facilities




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Coastal Zone Management Programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maintenance of tribal communities




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Department of Environmental Quality




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Land & Water Conservation Fund
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           National Endowment For The Arts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enhancement Grant Programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Department of Natural Resources
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Natural Resources Trust Fund
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Two percent grant programs




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Department of Transportation
                                                              Multi-County - Regional
Problem Issue/Work Topics




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Department of Corrections
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Improved Maintenance




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   State Representatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Solid Waste Planning
                                                                                        Councils of Government




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             National Park Service


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      U. S. Forrest Service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Forrestry Division




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     History Division
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Secretary of State




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  State Senators
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Parks Division




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Work crews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Licensing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   State Police
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Legislature




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Congress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Federal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Courts


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tribal




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        State
Blight, Junk/other Property Maintenance Issues
   Deteriorated/abandoned buildings                                                                                T                                                                                                                                                                     R                                                             F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                                                                                                     R                                                                                                                                                                                   V
   Junk cars                                                                                                       T                                           T                                                                                                  T                      T                                                             F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         V
   Scrap metal and other debris                                                                                    T                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           V
   Unkept houses, buildings and landscape                                                                          T                                                                                                                                                                                       F                                           F                            F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           V
   Coordination of garbage pickup/collection sites                                                                                                                                                                                                                T
   Maintenance of highway right-of-way
      Dead animals along roadway                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L
      Hillside/road cut erosion                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FL F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             L
      Debris from logging and similar trucks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   L                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                L                                                                                                                                                                      R
      Sand removal from winter maintenance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     L                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                L
      Damaged curbs from snow removal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FL F
      Trash thrown from vehicles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                L
   Rusty or unattractive rail overpasses                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               F                                                                                                          F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             L
   Inappropriate and insensitive display of merchandise                                                            E                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                R
   Non-enforcement of existing ordinances                                                                                                                                                                        E                                                                       R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         R
Signage
   Number and clustering of signs (too many)                                                                       E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
   Dated or abandoned/poorly maintained signs                                                                      E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
   Inappropriate, oversized, poorly lighted signs                                                                  E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
      Sign colors                                                                                                  E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
      Sign consistency                                                                                             E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
      Sign shapes                                                                                                  E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
      Sign borders                                                                                                 E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
      Sign materials                                                                                               E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F                                                                        R                                                     F                                                                                                                                                                                                                           R
      Confusing messages                                                                                           E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F
      Improper placement                                                                                           E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F
   Lack of recognition and directional signage                                                                     E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F
   Overly numerous, over sized and poorly placed billboards                                                        E                                                                                                                                                                     R                 R                                           F


    A = Advocacy/community support
    E = Education support
    F = Funding support
    L = Project labor
    R = Regulatory requirements
    T = Technical support
    V = Volunteer labor

    Page 7
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Table 1 - Achieving Results

                                                                                                                                                                                   Private/Community Efforts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Public/Governmental Efforts




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Duty to maintain propertry provisions
                                                                                                                                                    Tourism & Recreation Promotion Organization




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Governing Council, Commission or Board
                                                           Local - Regional - State - Federal




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Community Beautification Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Improved maintenance proceedures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Comprehensive plan provisions
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Industrial Development Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Zoning Ordinance & Enforcement




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Capital Improvement Program
                                                                                                Local, State, National Foundations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Community Education Program
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Scenic Michigan - Scenic America




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   County Planning Commissions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Roadway Littering Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Park Board or Commission




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Public Works, Engineering
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Environmental Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           County Zoning Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Junk car provisions




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Park Boards & Commissions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Blight & Junk Ordinances
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Landscape Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cities - Villages - Townships




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Master Gardner Program
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Master Planner Program
Problem Issue/Work Topics




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Erosion control projects
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adopt-a-road programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sidewalk Ordinance




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Planning Commission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Chamber of Commerce




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grass Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Blight Ordinance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sign Ordinance




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Police Department




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           County Commissions




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Roadside projects




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Conservation District
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Road Commissions




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sherifs Department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fire Department
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Historical Societies




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Timber Companies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Trail Organizations




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jail work crews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Utility Companies




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Day of Caring




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Road Patrols
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               MSU Extension
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Conservancies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Service Clubs
                                                                                                                                     Garden Clubs




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       DDA - TIF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      United Way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Railroads




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Courts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Local
Lighting
   Inadequate                                                                                                                          A                     A                                                                               A                 A                                                               A                                                                                      F                                                                                                                       FA                              FA R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     F                                       R                     R                               F                                                F                                                                                     R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E
   Unattractive lighting fixtures                                                                                                      A                     A                                                                               A                 FA                                                              FA                                                                                     F                                                                                                                       FA                              FA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       F                                       R                     E                               F                                                F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 E                        E
   No decorative/holiday lighting                                                                      F                               A                     A                                                                               A                 FA                                                              FA                                                                                     F                                                                                                                       FA                              FA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       F                                                             E                               F                                                F                                                                                                                                                                                             FV                                                         F                                                                                        E                        E                                                                                                                    L
   Light pollution                                                                                                                     A                     A                                                                               A                 A                                                               A                                                                                      F                                                                                                                       FA                              FA R                                                                                                                                    R                                                                                                F                                       R                     R                               F                                                F                                                                                     R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           E                        E
Utility Lines
   Pervasive/unattractive                                                                              F A A                                                                                                                                 A A                                                                                 A                                                    A                               F                                                                            A                                          FR FR R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  F                                                             R                               F                                                FL                                    R                                               R                                                      R                                                                                                                                        F                                                           E                        E
   Block/detract views                                                                                 F A A                                                                                                                                 A A                                                                                 A                                                    A                               F                                                                            A                                          FR FR R                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  F                                                             R                               F                                                FL                                    R                                               R                                                      R                                                                                                                                        F                                                           E                        E
Sidewalks, bike lanes, trails                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               F
   Lack of - None in existence                                                                         F                               A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A FA                                                                                                                                                                                                           F                               F                                        R                                                                                                                                                    R                                          F              F                        R                     R                               F                                                LF
   Poor placement relative to highway                                                                                                  A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A T                                                                                                                                                                                                            F                               F                                        R                                                                                                                                                    R                                          F              F                        R                     R                               F                                                LF
   Lack continuity and systematic layout                                                                                               A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A T                                                                                                                                                                                                            F                               F                                        R                                                                                                                                                    R                                          F              F                        R                     R                               F                                                LF
   Lack maintenance                                                                                                                    A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A V                                                                                                                                                                                                            F                               F                                                                                                                                                                                             R                                          F              F                        R                     R                               F                                                LF
       Sand removal from winter buildup                                                                                                A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A V                                                                                                                                                                                                            F                               F                                                                                                                                                                                             R                                          F              F                                              R                               F                                                LF
       Cracks                                                                                                                          A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A                                                                                                                                                                                                              F                               F                                                                                                                                                                                             R                                          F              F                                              R                               F                                                LF
       Vegetation growing within                                                                                                       A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A V                                                                                                                                                                                                            F                               F                                                                                                                                                                                             R                                          F              F                                              R                               F                                                LF
       Width                                                                                                                           A                     A                                                                           A                     A                                                               A A                                                                                                                                                                                                            F                               F                                        R                                                                                                                                                    R                                          F              F                        R                     R                               F                                                LF
Landscaping
   Bland, unattractive, undefined community entrances                                                  F V A                                                                                                                             FA VA                                                                                 FA                                                     V                                                                                                            A                                          F                               F                                                                                                                                                                                                                  R                     F                                                             R                               F                                                F                                     F                                                                                                      R                                                                                                                                       AF                                  E                        E                        E                                                                                                                    L
   Overly aggressive r/w clearing                                                                      F A A                                                                                                                             A A                                                                                   A                                                      V                                                                                                            A                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             R                     F                                                             R                               F                                                F                                     F                                                                                                      R                                                                              L                                                        AF                                  E                        E                        E E                                                                                                                  L
   Lack of vegetation along corridor                                                                   F AV A                                                                                                                            A VA                                                                                  FA                                                     V                                                                                                            A                                          F                               F                                        R                                                                                                                                                                         R                     F                                                             R                               F                                                F                                     F                                               R                                                      R                                                    V                                                                                  AF                                  E                        E                        E FE                                                                                                                 L
   Lack of buffers and screening of unsightly properties                                               F AV A                                                                                                                            FA VA                                                                                 FA                                                     V                                                                                                            A                                          F                               F                                        R                                R                                                                                                                                        R                     F                                                             R                               F                                                F                                     F                                               R                                                      R                                                    V                                                                                  AF                                  E                        E                        E FE                                                                                                                 L
   Overgrown blocking views and vistas                                                                 F AV A                                                                                                                            A VA                                                                                  FA                                                     V                                                                                                            A                                          F                               F                                        R                                R                                                                                                                                        R                     F                                                             R                               F                                                F                                     F                                               R                                                      R                                                    V                                                                                  AF                                  E                        E                        E FE                                                                                                                 L
Other Issues
   Excessive curb cuts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        R R                                                                      R                                                                                                                                                                                               F                                       R                     R                               R                                                F                                     R                                               R                                                      R                                                                              R                                                                                                                     E                        E                                                                                E
   Community Awareness Activities                                                                      F AF AF                                                                                                                           AF AF    AF A AF AF AF                                                                                                                                                                                    AF                                              A                                          AF F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     AF                                      E                     R                               F                                                                                      F                                                                                                      E                                                                                                                                                                                                    E                        E
   Preservation/enhancement of historic sites                                                          F                                                                                                                                 AF AF AF AF   AF AF AF                                                                                                                                                                                    AF                                                                                         AF                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       AF                                      E                     R                               F                                                                                      F                                                                                                      E                                                                                                                                                                                                    E                        E
   Project funding                                                                                     F                                                                                                                                 AF AF    AF   AF AF AF                                                                                                                                                                                    AF                                                                                         AF                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       AF                                                            R                               F                                                                                      F                                                                                                      E                                                                                                                                                                                                    E                        E



    A = Advocacy/community support
    E = Education support
    F = Funding support
    L = Project labor
    R = Regulatory requirements
    T = Technical support
    V = Volunteer labor

    Page 8
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Table 1 - Achieving Results

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Public/Governmental Efforts




                                                                                                                                                                                                              Organization & sponsorship of topical seminars
                                                                                                                                                            Grant writing assistance to local & county gov.
                                                                                                              Technical assistance to local & county gov.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Design of Tribal communities & facilities




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Coastal Zone Management Programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Maintenance of tribal communities




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Department of Environmental Quality




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Land & Water Conservation Fund
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        National Endowment For The Arts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Enhancement Grant Programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Department of Natural Resources
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Natural Resources Trust Fund
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Two percent grant programs




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Department of Transportation
                                                           Multi-County - Regional
Problem Issue/Work Topics




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Department of Corrections
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Improved Maintenance




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                State Representatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Solid Waste Planning
                                                                                     Councils of Government




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          National Park Service


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   U. S. Forrest Service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Forrestry Division




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  History Division
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Secretary of State




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               State Senators
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Parks Division




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Work crews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Licensing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                State Police
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Legislature




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Congress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Federal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Courts


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Tribal




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     State
Lighting      /
   Inadequate                                                                                                   T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F
   Unattractive lighting fixtures                                                                               T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F
   No decorative/holiday lighting                                                                               T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L
   Light pollution                                                                                              T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                                                                                                                                                          F
Utility Lines
   Pervasive/unattractive                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               F                                           F F                                                                                                                            F
   Block/detract views                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  F                                           F F                                                                                                                            F
Sidewalks, bike lanes, trails
   Lack of - None in existence                                                                                  T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                               F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L
   Poor placement relative to highway                                                                           T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                               F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L
   Lack continuity and systematic layout                                                                        T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                               F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L
   Lack maintenance                                                                                             T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                          FL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L
       Sand removal from winter buildup                                                                         T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                          FL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L
       Cracks                                                                                                   T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                          FL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L
       Vegetation growing within                                                                                T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                          FL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L
       Width                                                                                                    T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                          FL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               L
Landscaping
   Bland, unattractive, undefined community entrances                                                           T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F                                                                                               T                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L                                                                                                            T                                                         T
   Overly aggressive r/w clearing                                                                               T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                                                                                                                                   L                                                                                                                      T                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L                                                                                                            T                                                         T
   Lack of vegetation along corridor                                                                            T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F                                                                                               T                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L                                                                                                            T                                                         T
   Lack of buffers and screening of unsightly properties                                                        T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F                                                                                               T                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L                                                                                                            T                                                         T
   Overgrown blocking views and vistas                                                                          T                                                                                             E                                                                                         F                                           F                                                                                                                              F                                                               F                               T                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L                                                                                                            T                                                         T
Other Issues
   Excessive curb cuts                                                                                          T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                                                                                                    R                              L                      F                                                                                                                                                                                                            A
   Community Awareness Activities                                                                               T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                               F                                                                                                             F                                                                                                                                                                             A                A                           F                             F                                                         F
   Preservation/enhancement of historic sites                                                                   T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                               F                                                  F                                                          F                                             F             F                    F                  F                                                                         A                A                                                         F                                                         F
   Project funding                                                                                              T                                           T                                                 E                                                                                         F                                           F                            F                                                                                                 F                                                               F                                                  F                                                                                                                                                              F                                                                         A                A                                                                                                                   F



    A = Advocacy/community support
    E = Education support
    F = Funding support
    L = Project labor
    R = Regulatory requirements
    T = Technical support
    V = Volunteer labor

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                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        T. Technical support is assistance which is available from professionals or perhaps qualified
           amateurs that have the technical expertise to envision, devise and implement
           preservation/restoration projects. They may typically be the staff or retired staff of
           various businesses or governmental agencies that due to their position or situation are
           able to offer their time and services to lead project implementation activities.

        V. Volunteer labor may come from a variety of individual or community groups such as
           those that participate in adopt-a-road programs, beautification committees or Day of
           Giving efforts.


While the issues raised in each community were diverse and our suggested improvements are
specific to each conceptual design, two things become clear about corridor-wide visual
enhancement. The first step in corridor enhancement is removing things that clearly detract from
corridor aesthetics and assuring they do not reappear. Two issues that were regularly mentioned in
every community meeting that fall under this “removal” category are junk or blight and signage. We
will address these issues specifically in the following pages. Other items that fall in the “removal”
category and were mentioned include utility lines, unattractive street lighting and roadside debris
often including waste from snowplowing.
The second step in corridor enhancement is adding things that add to corridor appeal. The issues
most commonly mentioned during community meetings were landscaping, appropriate and
attractive lighting, sidewalks or other non-motorized pathways, directional or recognition signage
and driveway/curb cut reduction. We discuss how to implement some of these enhancements.
Finally, most enhancement projects in this second category require funding. Therefore, in the final
chapter, we detail available funding sources at the federal, state and local level.



Removing Problems along the Corridor
The first issue to address in beautifying corridors is removal of things that obviously detract from
corridor appearance. Clearly, derelict structures, junk, trash and inappropriate signage make towns
unappealing to visitors. Additionally, any large expenditure to beautify a corridor is wasted if things
like junk or excessive signage remain. It is also appropriate to deal with these issues first as they do
not always require a source of new funds, only a collection and expression of community will.

Zoning
When there is a sufficient community will to enact and enforce adequate and workable regulatory
laws such as zoning, blight and sign ordinances, much can be done in this manner to remove things
that mar the visual landscape. Such laws can regulate and/or require signage, night lighting,
landscaping, maintenance of property, land use, etc. Zoning ordinance provisions often take time to
result in meaningful improvements particularly in slow growing communities where grand fathering
may allow existing situations to continue for many years. Change does eventually come, however,
after the years pass.



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                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


We performed a cursory review of select zoning ordinances currently in place in the various
communities along the U.S.2 corridor. This review reveals several interesting facts. It appears that
many of the communities have adopted a zoning ordinance, however many of the ordinances have
been in place for twenty to thirty years and are seldom amended. Generally speaking, they seldom
have meaningful sections that would contribute to the maintenance/enhancement of the visual
appearance of the highway corridor. Sign ordinances, while in place in some communities, are either
outdated or not restrictive enough. Overlay zoning, often used to deal with specific community
assets without redefining zoning districts, is not used. Blight, junk and landscape provisions are
weak or non-existent.

Blight
Blight can be described as conditions “which cause a reduction of, or lack of, proper utilization of
the area to such an extent that it constitutes a serious physical, social, or economic burden on the
community which cannot reasonably be expected to be reversed or alleviated by private enterprise
acting alone.” (from Blight Control Ordinance, Williams Charter Township, Bay County, MI).
While not pervasive along the US-2 study corridor, blight remains a significant issue. Derelict sign
structures, unused and unsafe buildings and junk cars and appliances were found in numerous
locations. These issues and others falling into the blight category can be addressed through a
properly structured and enforced blight or (in the case of derelict sign structures) sign ordinance.
Provisions within the ordinance to address junk cars, appliances and other junk typically contain
language similar to the following:

       No motor vehicle shall be kept, parked or stored in any district for residential use,
       unless it shall be in operating condition and properly licensed, or kept inside a
       building. The purpose of this provision is to prevent the accumulation of junk motor
       vehicles, and therefore it shall not apply to any motor vehicle ordinarily used, but
       temporarily out of running condition. If a motor vehicle is being kept for actual use,
       but is temporarily unlicensed, the Zoning Administrator may grant the owner a
       reasonable time, not to exceed six (6) months, to procure such license.

       Likewise, no old, rusty and unsightly machinery, machines not suited for use upon
       the premises, or quantities of old and used building materials shall be kept or stored
       outside a building provided, however, that building materials fit to be used to
       improve the premises may be kept on site for one (1) year if they are piled off the
       ground so as not to become a rat and rodent harbor.

               Source: Acme Township, MI, Ordinance



Model ordinances are available from the Michigan Townships Association, the Michigan Municipal
League and Scenic Michigan (see Appendix A, Sources of Additional Information).
Another innovative way to deal with blight or junk in a community is to have a Community Cleanup
Day. Typically, a Community Cleanup Day is scheduled once or twice per year in the Spring and/or
Fall. People residing in the jurisdiction sponsoring the cleanup can bring junk of all types –
appliances, lawn mowers, cars parts, etc. – to one place for disposal. The local unit of government


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                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


contracts with a waste hauler to provide roll-offs and disposal. Alternatively, some communities
may offer similar curbside service. This activity is typically paid for out of local government funds.
Two other issues mentioned during the community meeting that could be considered blight-related
were property maintenance and vacant lots. These issues can also be addresses through zoning
ordinance provisions. A “Duty to maintain property” provision within the ordinance can spell out
what type of property maintenance is necessary. Typical “Duty to Maintain Property” language for a
zoning ordinance reads as follows:

        The owner or occupant of all land, structures and parts thereof, shall have the duty
        to maintain the same in a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of
        dirt, filth, rubbish, garbage, junk, vermin and other duty not to act or omit to act so
        as to create or permit the existence of a nuisance as defined in this Chapter. This
        duty shall extend to any area of land between the lot line and adjoining streets and
        curbs.

                Source: City of Charlevoix, MI, Ordinance



Some towns have enacted ordinances that specifically address maintenance of yards and landscaping,
spelling out how long grass can be allowed to grow, etc. However, these can be seen as overly
intrusive and this issue may be best addressed simply from neighbor and community pressure.
Lastly, in association with the blight and maintenance issue, the question of enforcement was raised.
An ordinance is useless if it is not enforced and the variance requests properly reviewed. Properly
written ordinances spell out enforcement responsibilities and it is up to the local governing body and
their appointed officials to see that they are carried out. In some cases, the addition of a civil
infraction ordinance helps communities enforce existing ordinances by allowing the local governing
authority to secure liens against a property and lowering the burden of proof for violations.

Signage
The issue of signage was raised a number of times during the community meetings. The field
observations indicate that this is clearly an issue especially along many of the commercial corridors
and approaches to study communities. Specifically, in Ironwood, Escanaba and several other towns,
otherwise beautiful stretches of highway approach are marred with oversized and improperly spaced
advertising signage. It should be remembered, that the approach is a visitor’s first visual impression
of a community, and first impressions last. In addition to the approaches, signage along the
commercial corridors throughout the study area is inconsistent in size, number, height, type, color,
lighting and setback creating a chaotic, confusing and potentially dangerous visual for the traveler.
The abundance of advertising sign clutter limits the effectiveness of any directional or recognition
signage and contributes to traffic and safety problems.
The first steps in addressing the issue of signage are to inventory the existing signs along the study
corridor, gather public input and craft a practical, understandable and enforceable sign ordinance.
This ensures that new developments and signage are consistent with the community’s goals. A sign
ordinance should specify appropriate number, size, height, face area, type, color, materials,
illumination, landscaping and setback of all newly erected signs within each type of district. The


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                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


ordinance should clearly articulate the community’s goals in establishing the ordinance and
meshwith goals articulated in the community’s comprehensive plan. Typical regulations in
communities which have been successful in controlling signs are:

       1.      One free standing sign face size of thirty two (32) to (40) sq. ft. per business.
       2.      A free standing sign height of twenty feet.
       3.      A free standing sign setback from the highway right-of-way of ten feet.
       4.      Wall and window signage not to exceed twenty percent of the area of a building
               facade
       5.      Provisions for a “center sign” where multiple businesses and or buildings are
               identified.
       6.      Limitation of content to land use identification and not advertising.
       7.      Highway advertising regulations which restrict such signs from the corridor, or limit
               them to small appropriate districts, provide for significant spacing between signs, and
               limit their sign face size
       8.      Prohibition of banners, pennants, inflatable devices and other such signs which are
               designed to attract attention and not simply identify a business location.


These, it should be noted, are not the most restrictive provisions which a community may adopt.
Model ordinances are available from the Michigan Townships Association, the Michigan Municipal
League and Scenic Michigan (see Appendix A).


Adding to the Corridor
Landscaping
Most of the conceptual designs highlight some added landscape features. Trees, shrubs and other
greenery as well as berms and mounds can serve many purposes along a corridor. They can be used
to soften views, screen unwanted views and reduce the impacts from sound and light on the
motorist. They can also be used as focal points and attractive backdrops for community entrance
signs. The addition of landscaping can be accomplished in different ways.
Many communities establish beautification committees to coordinate community landscaping.
These are usually voluntary efforts that attempt to get business owners and other corridor property
owners to take an interest in landscaping their properties. Other times, community beautification or
garden clubs will undertake specific projects such as landscaping at the town entrance or an
important community attraction. In some cases, these voluntary efforts are supplemented with
funding from the local government.
In addition to voluntary/community efforts, landscaping should be addressed in regulatory language
as well. The community’s master plan should establish policies and guidelines with respect to
landscaping and layout the goals for having landscape requirements. Landscaping requirements
should be included in the zoning ordinance and administered during a site plan review process for
new developments. For corridors, the ordinance should:
       •    specify landscape requirements along the roadways and at major intersections



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                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       •   provide landscape requirements for the sides and fronts of buildings visible along the
           corridor
       •   address the issue of snow storage and removal
       •   require landscaping that minimizes glare and light issues for the traveler and reduces
           noise for those alongside the roadway
       •   Require street trees along all highway frontages.
       •   Require parking lot landscaping that will provide summer shade for parked vehicles,
           screen cars from users of adjacent public right-of-ways and provide a green buffer
           between buildings and parking areas.
       •   Require screening of unsightly areas such as dumpsters, outside storage, etc.
       •   Require specific landscape treatment for the location and design of outdoor merchandise
           display areas such as those used for display of motor vehicles.
       •   Require watering sources for all landscape areas.
       •   Require appropriate design and landscaping of water retention/detention areas.

Sidewalks and Non-motorized Ways
Another often-mentioned issue during the community meetings was the lack of sidewalks and
sidewalk connectivity. Sidewalks can be added during large roadway enhancement projects but
should also be addressed in the zoning ordinance. Making sidewalks part of any improvement or
new development will at least start the process. Hopefully, as new walks are added, completing an
entire system becomes easier as the idea gains momentum. Typical language to address sidewalks
found within an ordinance should include:

       Sidewalks/Non-motorized ways: Pedestrian sidewalks or non-motorized ways shall
       be constructed to provide pedestrian access along highways ___________ and other
       areas as may be designated by the unit of government, at such a time as any
       adjacent parcel is improved either by new construction or improvement to an
       existing land use. Sidewalks shall be provided in the _________________ Districts
       and in planned developments in residential districts. In planned developments
       interior sidewalks or other non-motorized ways available to the public, may be
       substituted for the provision of this requirement if such substitution is approved by
       the __________ as a part of the site plan.


       The upgrading or improvement of an existing land use shall not require the
       construction of a pedestrian sidewalk should the cost of the sidewalk exceed twenty
       percent (20%) of the construction or improvement cost. Sidewalk cost shall be
       based on a fixed amount of $3.00 /sq. foot or a bid price submitted by the property
       owner from a qualified contractor verifiable by the Zoning Administrator. In the
       event consecutive improvements are made to the property within a three (3) year
       time period, the cumulative total cost of the separate improvements shall be
       considered when determining the need for such sidewalk construction.




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                                                    US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       Sidewalk construction shall meet the following requirements:
               1. Sidewalk construction shall meet the current construction specifications of
                  the Michigan Department of Transportation.
               2. Sidewalk shall extend across the entire frontage of the property ownership.
               3. Sidewalk shall be located whenever possible within the highway right-of-
                  way, however, may be located on private property to avoid obstructions as
                  part of a designated bike path, and shall be located so as to insure
                  connection and continuity with existing or future walks or bike paths on
                  adjoining properties.
               4. When required, permits must be obtained from the Michigan Department of
                  Transportation.
               5. Sidewalk maintenance including replacement in the case of inadequate
                  construction as determined by the Zoning Administrator shall be the
                  responsibility of the adjacent parcel owner.
               6. Sidewalk construction shall be in essential compliance with the Non-
                  motorized Facility Plan.


               Source: City of Charlevoix, Ordinance


Lighting
Street lighting was mentioned often during community meetings and is incorporated in many of the
conceptual designs. Street lighting, in both form and function, has significant impacts on corridor
appeal. Poor lighting can make driving difficult and distracting. In addition, unappealing street
lights can detract from a corridors aesthetic appeal.
Lighting is best addressed through a community’s zoning ordinance. Among other things, the
ordinance should specify the type, architectural style, wattage, height, placement and spacing of
lighting along the corridor for different zones. These issues should all be incorporated into the site
plan review process.

Managing Access
Traffic and the number of roadway access points were issues mentioned several times during the
community meetings and obvious from field analysis. There are a number of ways to improve
traffic flow, safety and access. Access management is:

        “a set of proven techniques that can help reduce traffic congestion, preserve the
       flow of traffic, improve traffic safety, prevent crashes, preserve existing road
       capacity and preserve investment in roads by managing the location, design and
       type of access to property.”
       Access management techniques can include
           •   Driveway consolidation
           •   Driveway alterations
           •   Signage treatments/Restricting turns
           •   Avoid additional curb cuts
           •   Front and rear access



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                                                  US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


           •   Improved local street connections
           •   Medians

                          Source: Michigan Department of Transportation, Reducing Traffic
                                  Congestion and Improving Traffic Safety in Michigan
                                  Communities: The Access Management Guidebook,
                                  October 2001.


A detailed description of access management techniques, benefits and implementation is beyond the
scope of this plan. For details, please consult the MDOT guidebook referenced above.




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                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


                                    Funding Enhancements
A variety of potential sources of funding are available for the implementation of visual enhancement
projects. Funding may come from a broad array of organizations at the local, state and federal level.
In some cases, federal dollars are administered by state agencies. In other cases, applications can be
made directly to federal programs.


Federal Funding Sources (may be passed through and administered by state)

Federal Transportation Enhancement Funding
In 1991, the passage of ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act) mandated that every
state must reserve 10 percent of surface transportation funds for enhancement activities. This act
was reauthorized in 1998 through 2003 with the passage of TEA-21 (Transportation Equity Act for the
21st Century). This act expires on September 30, 2003. The Bush Administration has proposed
reauthorization with the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003
(SAFETEA), however, this has not been passed by congress. These acts work to fund
enhancement through taxes on motor fuel and vehicles which are placed in the Highway Trust
Fund. These funds are distributed to the states through the Federal Highway Program. 10% of the
state's surface transportation funds are reserved for enhancement activities

Federal Eligibility
To be eligible for Transportation Enhancement Funding, projects must meet several criteria. They must
relate in some way to transportation. They must provide for public access and fit one or more of 12
enhancement activities:
    1. Pedestrian and bicycle facilities
    2. Pedestrian and bicycle safety and education activities
    3. Acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites
    4. Scenic or historic highways programs including tourist and welcome centers
    5. Landscaping and scenic beautification
    6. Historic preservation
    7. Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures or facilities
    8. Conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails
    9. Control and removal of outdoor advertising
    10. Archaeological planning and research
    11. Environmental mitigation of runoff pollution and provisions of wildlife connectivity
    12. Establishment of transportation museums

Michigan Eligibility
To qualify for enhancement funding in Michigan, the project must have a sponsor. The applicant
must be a governmental unit that receives fuel tax revenues such as cities, villages, road
commissions, public transit agencies, or MDOT. Also, the project must meet at least one of the
following qualifications:
    • Must be on or next to a highway, street or road that is eligible for federal aid
    • Must be a historic facility or a historic site that is significant to transportation but has current
        transportation use


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                                                   US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


   •   Must provide a service related to transportation
   •   Must fit within the same types of activities as the federal program(above) except does not
       include:
           a. Pedestrian and bicycle safety activities and education
           b. Transportation museums


Regional Contact:
                      Adrian Stroupe, Regional Planner
                      MDOT-Superior Region
                      1818 3rd Avenue North
                      Escanaba, MI 49829
                      (906) 786-1800


State Contacts:       Amber Thelen
                      thelena@michigan.gov
                      517.241.1456

                      Jessica Pierce
                      piercej3@michigan.gov
                      517.241.0185

                      Michigan Department of Transportation
                      Transportation Economic Development and Enhancement Office
                      425 West Ottawa - P.O. Box 30050
                      Lansing, MI 48909


National Scenic Byways Grant Program
A program of the Federal Highway Administration, National Scenic Byway funds are available
through a grant application process to undertake eligible projects associated with designated
National Scenic Byways, all-American Roads or state designated byways. In Michigan, scenic
byways projects coordinator is the Michigan Heritage Route Program through MDOT:

                      Pete Hanses
                      Heritage Route Program Manager
                      Michigan Department of Transportation-Transportation Planning Division
                      425 W. Ottowa
                      Lansing, MI 48909
                      Voice: 517-335-2934
                      Fax: 517-373-9255
                      E-mail: hansesp@mdot.state.mi.us

The following is a list of byways projects funded in Michigan through 2002


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                                                             US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


        Michigan
        1998 SB-1998-MI-1 $72,000.00 Corridor Management Plan
        1998 SB-1998-MI-2 $80,800.00 Statewide Planning, Coordination & Administration of Byway Program
        2000 SB-2000-MI-2 $5,695.00 M-15 Heritage Route Railway Feasibility Study
        2000 SB-2000-MI-3 $114,000.00 Development of the Michigan State Scenic Byway Program
        2000 SB-2000-MI-5 $40,000.00 Southeast Michigan's Main Street Marketing Plan for Woodward Avenue
        2001 SB-2001-MI-1 $311,074.00 Copper Country Bike Facility: Phoenix, MI to Delaware, MI
        2001 SB-2001-MI-2 $168,000.00 Cass River Bridge Aesthetic Enhancement (Vassar, MI)
        2001 SB-2001-MI-3 $35,000.00 Copper Country Corridor Management Plan
        2001 SB-2001-MI-4 $268,000.00 Southeast Michigan's Main Street Marketing Plan for Woodward Avenue/Phase II
        Implementation
        2002 SB-2002-MI-3 $44,400.00 Leelanau Heritage Route CMP Implementation
        2002 SB-2002-MI-4 $536,000.00 Southeast Michigan's Main Street Marketing for Woodward Avenue - Phase III
        Implementation

        Total for Michigan $1,674,969.00



Public Lands Highways Program
This program provides federal funding to improve access to and within federal lands. Funds are
available for "any kind of transportation project eligible for assistance under Title 23, United States
Code, that is within, adjacent to, or provides access to the areas (Federal lands) served by the public
lands highway." A public lands highway means a forest road or any highway through unappropriated
or unreserved public lands, nontaxable Indian lands, or other Federal reservations under the
jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public travel. Interpretive signs, rest
areas, visitor centers, bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible for this grant program. The next call
for projects is subject to the reauthorization of the federal Transportation Efficiency Act (TEA-21).

        Source: National Transportation Enhancement Clearinghouse Website, www.enhancements.org,
                 September 2003

State Funding Sources

Transportation Economic Development Fund
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) administers an Office of Economic
Development that manages several types of Economic Development programs under the
Transportation Economic Development Fund. Grant programs A, C, D, E, and F (B discontinued)
are briefly described as follows:
Category A grants are targeted at specific industries, namely, Agriculture and Food Processing;
Tourism; Forestry; High Technology Research; Manufacturing; Mining; and Office Centers of at
least 50,000 square feet.
Category C grants are aimed at reducing congestion on county primary and city major streets within
urban counties including advanced traffic management systems.
Category D grants seek to fund projects that complement the state trunkline system in rural areas,
and
Category E grants seek to create and improve forest roads.
Category F grants are dedicated for road improvement for urbanized areas in rural counties.




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                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


       Source: Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Website, Last Revised on 05/09/01

Contact Information for Transportation Economic Development Fund:

               Administrator:          Jacqueline G. Shinn
               Contact:                Denise Curl
               Phone:                  517-335-1069
               E-mail:                 curld@michigan.gov
               Website:                www.mich.gov/mdot

               Program Administration Section
               Michael Kapp, Manager        517-373-2666
               Deanna Finch, Systems Coordinator 517-241-4778

               Project Development Section
               Alicia Evans Suber, Project Dev. Manager 517-373-2752
               Michael Leon, Economic Dev. Spec. 517-241-2568




Aesthetic Project Opportunities Inventory
Several of the programs we have discussed in this section are administered by the Michigan
Department of Transportation(MDOT). These include the Transportation Enhancements and
Heritage Route Program and the Transportation Economic Development Fund. In order to
enhance the effectiveness of the Enhancements Program and the Heritage Route Program, MDOT
undertook an Aesthetic Project Opportunities Inventory(APOI) in 2000. The purpose of this
program was to identify aesthetic project opportunities along state trunklines and ensure the best
and most coordinated use of funds.
The APOI identified many project opportunities along the US-2 corridor. Many of these project
opportunities are located within the 6 communities and stretches of US-2 corridor that received
planning assistance under this project. Also, many of the aesthetic opportunities identified during
MDOT’s inventory include many of the same treatments depicted in the conceptual designs
presented within this plan. As MDOT may be a significant source of funds, this congruence is
important to note.




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                                                         US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


Community Development Block Grant (State Administered)
(the following text is taken directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Website,
www.hud.gov)


        Program Objectives
        The primary statutory objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities by
        providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic
        opportunities, principally for persons of low- and moderate-income. The State must ensure
        that at least 70 percent of its CDBG grant funds are used for activities that benefit low- and
        moderate-income persons over a one-, two-, or three-year time period selected by the State
        This general objective is achieved by granting "maximum feasible priority" to activities which
        benefit low- and moderate-income families or aid in the prevention or elimination of slums
        or blight. Under unique circumstances, States may also use their funds to meet urgent
        community development needs. A need is considered urgent if it poses a serious and
        immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community and has arisen in the past 18
        months.

        Eligible Activities
        Communities receiving CDBG funds from the State may use the funds for many kinds of
        community development activities including, but not limited to:

             • acquisition of property for public purposes;
             • construction or reconstruction of streets, water and sewer facilities, neighborhood
               centers, recreation facilities, and other public works;
             • demolition;
             • rehabilitation of public and private buildings;
             • public services;
             • planning activities;
             • assistance to nonprofit entities for community development activities; and
             • assistance to private, for profit entities to carry out economic development activities
               (including assistance to micro-enterprises).


State Contact:
                 Mr. William Parker, Coordinator
                 Housing Development Authority
                 P.O. Box 30044
                 Lansing, MI 48909-7544
                 Phone: 517-373-1462
                 Fax: 517-335-4797
                 Email: parkerw@state.mi.us
                 Michigan CDBG business incentives: 517-373-6213
                 Michigan CDBG housing resources: 517-373-1462



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                                                      US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning



State Infrastructure Bank
The State Infrastructure Bank has low interest loans for transportation improvements. The program
is administered through the Office of Transportation Economic Development and Enhancement.

State Contact:

                  Michigan Department of Transportation
                  Transportation Economic Development and Enhancement Office
                  425 West Ottawa - P.O. Box 30050
                  Lansing, MI 48909


Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) has been in place since 1976. It provides
financial assistance to local governments and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to
purchase lands for outdoor recreation and/or the protection of natural resources and open space. It
also assists in the appropriate development of land for public outdoor recreation.
Criteria
Applications are evaluated on established criteria such as resource protection, water access, and
project need. At least 25 percent match on either acquisition or development projects is required
from local government applicants. Recommendations are made by the Michigan Natural Resources
Trust Fund Board (members are appointed by the Governor) to the State Legislature for final
approval. Criteria are spelled out in the "Recreation Grants Selection Process" booklet given to all
applicants. There are eleven evaluation criteria:

    1.     Protection and use of significant natural resources.
    2.     Use of inland waters.
    3.     Population served.
    4.     Economic benefits.
    5.     Hunting, fishing and other wildlife-related values.
    6.     Need for proposal.
    7.     Applicant history.
    8.     Site and project quality.
    9.     Special Initiatives of the MNRTF Board (See below).
    10.    Financial need of the applicant.
    11.    Local match contribution.

There are at times special circumstances that factor into grant evaluation. Currently, the 2003
Special Initiatives of the Board are:

    1. Acquisition or development of railways that contribute to an overall State trail system.
    2. Acquisition of lands open to hunting or development of hunting-related facilities, such as
       shooting ranges.
    3. Acquisition of lands that provide for deer habitat with thermal cover.


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                                                     US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


    4. Local shooting ranges or State/local shooting range partnerships.
    5. Acquisition projects that create, establish and protect wildlife/ecological corridors by
       connecting to and/or buffering existing protected and managed State or local natural areas,
       forests or game areas.

Eligibility
Any local of government, including school districts, or any combination of units in which authority
is legally constituted to provide recreation is eligible. Local units of government, school districts and
local authorities must have a DNR-approved recreation plan to be eligible.

Contact

                        Jim Wood
                        Grants, Contracts and Customer Systems
                        Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
                        (517-241-2480)
                        woodjb@michigan.gov.

              Source:   DNR Website, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Section, September 2003


Local Funding Sources and Economic Development Tools

Obviously, funding for enhancement projects can come from local sources. Discretionary outlays
from the city, township or county budget have been used for planning and implementation. In
addition, public bonds or private foundation funding can be used. Lastly, in some cases, fees tied to
development, such as traffic impact fees or assessments, have been pooled and used to fund
corridor enhancements.

Economic Development Tools
There are a number of economic development tools available to communities to encourage and
fund development and improvements in specific community areas. The following table compiled by




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                                                        US-2/M-134 Visual Enhancement Planning


the Michigan Municipal League describes some of these tools:

Table 2 Summary of Economic Development Tools
                 DDAs           TIFAs       LDFAs         BRAs           EDCs           PSDs         BIDs
Authorized       Cities,        Cities      Cities,       Cities,        Cities,        Cities with  One or
municipalities   villages and               villages      villages and   villages and   designated   more
                 townships                  and urban     townships      townships      principal    cities with
                                            townships                                   shopping     an urban
                                                                                        district(s)  design plan
Limitations      One per       No new        One per      Industrial or Industrial      Commercial   Commercial
                 municipality areas          municipality commercial    area            area with    or industrial
                               established                property                      at least 10  area with
                               after 1989                                               retail       boundaries
                                                                                        businesses   established
                                                                                                     by city
                                                                                                     resolution
Requirements     Deteriorating Deteriorating Industrial   Enviro-       Industrial or Designated     Designated
                 property      property      area         nmental       501(c)(3)     as a principal as a BID by
                 values        values                     contamination nonprofit in shopping        one or more
                                                                        master plan area cities
                                                                                      by resolution
Eligible         Located in    Within        Public       Enviro-       Issue bonds Improve          Improvement
projects         DDA district defined        facility     nmental       for private   highways       of highways
                 with          TIFA area     to benefit   cleanup       industrial    and walk-      and walk-
                 approved                    industrial                 development ways;            ways;
                 DDA/TIF                     park                                     promotion;     promotion;
                 plans                                                                parking,       parking,
                                                                                      maintenance, maintenance,
                                                                                      security or    security or
                                                                                      operation      operation
Funding          TIF from      TIF from      TIF on       TIF; Revenue Tax exempt Bonds,             Bonds,
sources          District;     plan area     eligible     Bonds         bonds         special        special
                                             property                                 assessments assessments,
                                                                                                     gifts, grants,
                                                                                                     city funds,
                                                                                                     other


Notes:
BIDs – Business Improvement Districts; DDAs – Downtown Development Authorities; PSDs – Principal Shopping
Districts; BRAs – Brownfield Redevelopment Districts; LDFAs – Local Development Finance Authorities. For a
summary comparison of these and Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) and Tax Increment Finance
Districts
(TIFAs), see the Michigan Municipal Leagues’s Economic Development Tools, June 2000.

Source: Michigan Municipal League. Economic Development Tool. Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Municipal League,




                                                  Page 24
                    Appendix A          Additional Information

                                 Sources of Additional Information

There are numerous sources of information concerning visual enhancement and corridor aesthetics.
Many organizations offer publications and websites with extensive resources to help communities plan
for and fund enhancement projects. They offer tips on developing community support and involvement
in enhancement activities and assistance with developing regulatory guidance and sample language. This
appendix will list and briefly describe some of the more prominent organizations and resources.

Organizations with Additional Information

National
  American Planning Association, www.planning.org
  Scenic America, www.scenic.org
  The Trust for Public Land
  Federal Highway Administration (Context Sensitive Design), www.fhwa.dot.gov/csd/index.htm
  The Surface Transportation Policy Project, www.transact.org
  National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse, www.enhancements.org
  National Council of State Garden Clubs Inc., www.gardenclub.org
  The Nature Conservancy, www.nature.org
  National Scenic Byways Clearinghouse, www.byways.org
  National Trust for Historic Preservation, www.nationaltrust.org

Michigan
  Scenic Michigan, www.scenicmichigan.org
  Michigan Association of Regions, www.miregions.org
  Michigan Society of Planning, www.planningmi.org
  Michigan Township Association, mta-townships.org
  Michigan Municipal League www.mml.org
  Michigan Department of Transportation, www.mich.gov/mdot


Important Publications

Communities Benefit! The Social and Economic Benefits of Transportation Enhancements, National Transportation
    Enhancements Clearinghouse
A Guide to Transportation Enhancements, National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse
Land Use Tools and Techniques, A Handbook for Local Communities, SEMCOG, March 2003
Community Guide to Corridor Management Planning for Scenic Byways, USDOT, FHWA.
Preparing Corridor Management Plans: A Scenic Byways Guidebook, USDOT, FHWA.

								
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