Blog: Melissa Trustman

Melissa Trustman is the senior director of Government Relations at the Detroit Regional Chamber. Melissa manages transportation policy and monitors emerging issues that impact trade and infrastructure within Southeast Michigan.

Post No. 5

The Transportation of the Future…. 

When I first took the wheel with my dad in the passenger seat, I remember him thinking he had his own brake pedal and his first driving advice as I wobbled in and out of my lane... "You need to keep your eyes further down the road to stay in between the lines."

For my final post, I would like to leave on a particular note for all of us to think toward the future. Not next year or even the next ten years. Think 20, 50 or even 100 years from now. That’s really the nature of the transportation and infrastructure game.   

There are many exciting proposals that could change the face of the Detroit Region, both physically and economically. Aerotropolis, transforming Detroit into a logistics hub, the Ann Arbor to Detroit passenger rail, new rails to trails projects and really countless others that are all currently "in discussion." Many of these issues are political – simply because there are limited resources and not everything will come to fruition. Actually, the news that will hit the papers will be whether or not I-75 is expanded, if there is another exit off of 696 or how much the bill will be for the next budget year.   

The daily, annual and immediate future needs our attention, but as we allocate billions each year to our thousands of projects, we need to consistently think about how those investments provide a future return to our region. As the nature of air travel changes, trade across land and through our borders increases exponentially and our style of living changes, we have to ask ourselves if the infrastructure we had been building in the past will suit us going forward.