The East Lansing Transportation Fee unanimously accepted recommending Metropolis Council approve a “highway food regimen” for Hagadorn Street. The plan, accepted on the Jan. 9 Transportation assembly, is on the enterprise agenda of the Tuesday (Jan. 23) Council assembly. 

In keeping with Metropolis Engineer Administrator Stephen Clayton, the highway food regimen mission on Hagadorn was launched as a side of the metropolis’s non-motorized transportation plan and can also be a part of the Michigan Division of Transportation’s (MDOT) state transportation enchancment program (STIP). A highway food regimen converts a four-lane highway into two lanes with a middle flip lane.

Metropolis of East Lansing Engineer Administrator Stephen Clayton listens to audio system tackle the Hagadorn Street highway food regimen proposal through the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, assembly. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

“As a result of Hagadorn Street was a part of that STIP, it felt just like the time to additionally add on these pedestrian enhancements in addition to the lane reconfiguration on the identical time,” Clayton mentioned.

The Transportation Fee tried to make clear the highway food regimen plan.

Quite a few residents appeared on the Dec. 4 Transportation Fee assembly to specific their assist or opposition for the proposed plan for the part of Hagadorn Street from Burcham Drive to Grand River Avenue.

Following the December assembly, the place a number of neighborhood members spoke and a consultant from ROWE Skilled Companies Firm introduced the outcomes of the highway food regimen research, residents nonetheless had questions.

The fee tried to make clear these questions and considerations through the Jan. 9 assembly, offering a number of sources of their agenda packet. This included a  highway diets truth sheet, which mentioned tips on how to create a highway food regimen and offered examples of profitable highway diets in different communities; a highway food regimen fantasy buster, which clarified a few of the considerations about highway diets; and a highway food regimen informational information from the Federal Freeway Administration.

Included within the agenda packet was additionally an e mail the place ROWE senior mission engineer Hailey Savola responded to questions from Clayton, introduced up by neighborhood members on the December Transportation assembly. One of many questions many residents requested was,  “How have been the research limits decided?” Many expressed considerations concerning turning motion from aspect streets and worry that the research was not complete. That part of Hagadorn has many aspect streets on the east and west aspect of the highway into the neighborhoods.

These are some particulars from the highway food regimen research accomplished by ROWE Skilled Companies Firm.

Savola’s written response mentioned: “Counts have been taken at first and finish of the mission limits in addition to the 2 ‘midpoint’ aspect road areas to verify the volumes captured and studied have been inclusive of your complete mission limits. Counts have been taken on a traditional weekday to embody regular visitors volumes (per MDOT and this research we utilized Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday visitors volumes).” 

Residents additionally expressed considerations on whether or not the highway food regimen will have an effect on what is among the busiest intersections in East Lansing. Many have been apprehensive of this conversion as a result of visitors drivers have been experiencing through the present Customers Power building mission. 

“Roadway configuration at Grand River will stay as present circumstances and never be impacted by the highway food regimen conversion,” Savola wrote. “The tapers for the left flip lanes are on the identical location as they’re now so the development influence from previous initiatives shouldn’t be the outcome on this mission.” 

With these clarifications, enter from neighborhood members and a number of distinct sources in regards to the professionals and cons of highway diets in thoughts, the fee voted to approve and advocate the town transfer ahead with the Hagadorn Street mission. 

“Every of the commissioners have been capable of speak by way of a few of the reasonings for his or her assist and plenty of them expressed that they have been conscious of the priority from residents and I feel that helped them come to that time of resolution,” Clayton mentioned.

Opponents pointed to the rejection in 2007 of the same plan.

Many residents who expressed opposition identified the identical two-lane reconfiguration was proposed and rejected in 2007. 

Neighborhood members on the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, Transportation Fee assembly. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

Resident Jeffrey Pillon expressed the opposition he held in 2007 to this reconfiguration in addition to the opposition he holds now in his letter to the fee previous to the Jan. 9 assembly. 

“Whereas some streets which have decrease visitors volumes, and should have much less influence, the excessive visitors on Hagadorn exacerbates the issues,” Pillon wrote. “That is the final 4 lane north-south entry highway within the metropolis. Throughout occasions of excessive visitors quantity there shall be a steady unbroken line of automobiles. As such the variety of vehicles that may undergo the visitors gentle on the intersection of Burcham may very well be diminished by as a lot as 50 p.c and trigger additional backup and delays.”

Shanna Draheim, a resident of the Brookfield neighborhood on the east aspect of Hagadorn close to the Grand River intersection, expressed her gratitude for the highway food regimen being accepted by the fee.

“I assist the highway food regimen for 2 main causes,” Draheim mentioned. “One is only for local weather causes. We’ve got a vital and bold local weather plan that the governor has set and the town has its personal local weather motion plan set. Transportation emissions are an enormous a part of our emissions and I simply really feel that we will now not be making highway enhancements or highway adjustments with out incorporating components which are going to scale back car demand and actually create alternatives for individuals to decide on alternate options to vehicles.

“The opposite cause for me, notably within the Brookfield neighborhood, is simply security,” she mentioned. “Hagadorn Street is unsafe proper now. We actually have a half-a-mile stretch the place a pedestrian can’t cross.

“We’ve got to be making choices which are good for the town as an entire.”

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