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U.S. 23 ‘dynamic shoulder’ plan progressing despite stiff opposition

The plan to install “dynamic shoulders” on U.S. 23 north of Ann Arbor is moving forward despite concerns that it could bring more congestion to Ann Arbor’s roads and parking system.

The Washtenaw Area Transportation Study policy committee, composed of 21 members, voted 12-9 Wednesday to approve the project, with strong opposition from the county’s board of commissioners as well as all of the cities in the region. Washtenaw County commissioner Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, said his biggest concern with the project is that despite being billed as an alternative traffic management (ATM) plan, it will effectively bring more people into Ann Arbor.

“In my opinion it doesn’t really matter how you wrap it,” he said. “It is what it is. It’s a lane expansion and it’s a capacity project. You can call it a shoulder, you can call it a lane, it is what it is.”

Rabhi said the goal of the project, to expand capacity on the U.S. 23 corridor north of Ann Arbor, will most benefit commuters coming into Ann Arbor in the morning and leaving the city in the afternoon.