The general public listening to relating to a proposed “highway food regimen” lane reconfiguration of Hagadorn Street from Grand River Avenue to Burcham Street introduced a big viewers to the Monday (Dec. 4) Transportation Fee assembly.

A highway food regimen is the method of narrowing or eliminating journey lanes for automobiles to make a roadway safer by decreasing velocity, offering a middle flip lane and including house devoted to bicyclists. The proposal for the part of Hagadorn Street from East Grand River Avenue to Burcham Street would reconfigure 4 vehicular lanes to a few vehicular lanes (two by way of lanes and a middle two-way left flip lane) and two bike lanes. 

The plan has been met with opposition from some residents within the Metropolis of East Lansing each for and in opposition to the proposal. Neighborhood members who help the highway food regimen want to implement bike lanes as a way to decrease the town’s carbon footprint and improve security for non-motorized transportation. Different group members are involved about a rise in site visitors, automotive backups and cut-through site visitors of their neighborhoods. Opponents additionally expressed issues in regards to the information within the highway food regimen research introduced by ROWE Skilled Providers Firm.

East Lansing Transportation Commissioners hearken to a speaker in the course of the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, assembly within the Hannah Middle. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

Twenty group members shared their opinions with the fee – 17 who opposed the undertaking and three who supported it. 

Opponents of the plan level to the lengthy strains of site visitors within the space due to present development.

A lot of the opposition has been introduced on by the present development on Hagadorn, which has concerned lane closures and, in line with audio system, elevated lengthy strains of site visitors and rushing, in addition to site visitors reducing by way of the neighborhoods.

Steve Heinrich, who lives within the historic Brookfield Heritage Neighborhood, speaks on the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, Transportation Fee assembly. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

The development presently occurring on this space is a undertaking by Customers Power, which incorporates set up of recent pure gasoline programs on the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Hagadorn Street.

“The Customers job that’s happening proper now’s only a symptom of at any time when there’s development or something happening at that intersection [Hagadron and Grand River],” Peter Knupfer stated. 

Many group members introduced up an analogous highway food regimen plan introduced in 2007 for Hagadorn. That plan was met with a lot push again as properly and, finally, not authorized.

Knupfer submitted a letter in 2007 about his issues and introduced those self same issues as soon as once more on the Monday assembly.

“This explicit proposal comes again like a nasty relative at Thanksgiving,” Knupfer stated. “When it was already thought of and rejected earlier than, it comes with a research that reads extra like a set of preconceived conclusions than an precise research that by no means thought of the neighborhoods that abut Hagadorn Street.”

Phil Hanses additionally referred to the earlier related proposal and questioned why the proposal has returned. 

“I opposed this plan in 2007 and I oppose it now,” Hanses stated.

“This has been proposed a number of occasions previously and calmer heads have prevailed,” Hanses wrote in his letter of opposition. “I’m not certain for those who or ROWE Engineering have been on Hagadorn in the previous couple of months whereas it has had the one lane closed, particularly throughout peak site visitors time or not, however it’s a prime instance of the chaos that can ensue for those who make the proposed adjustments.” 

Judy Tant learn her letter of opposition.

In the course of the Transportation Fee assembly on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, East Lansing resident Judy Tant reads her letter of opposition to the proposed adjustments to Hagadorn Street. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

“I can’t think about this can enhance the livability of our group,” Tant stated. “Simply the considered it provides me one more reason to keep away from downtown East Lansing.”

These in favor of the plan cite the success of different highway food regimen tasks.

A number of highway diets have beforehand been carried out in East Lansing. Burcham Drive was transformed from 4 to a few lanes in 1996, Grand River Avenue west of Michigan avenue in 1997, Abbot Street from Burcham Drive to Saginaw Road in 1999, Harrison Street between Saginaw Road and Lake Lansing Street in 2002, and, most lately, Hagadorn Street north of Haslett Street. 

Tim Potter cited the success of those tasks and inspired others to check what these streets appeared like earlier than and after the implementation of the highway diets. Potter is the sustainable transportation supervisor for the MSU Bikes Service Middle.

Tim Potter expresses his help of the highway food regimen adjustments to Hagadorn Street in the course of the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, Transportation Fee assembly. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

Potter additionally supplied a pair potential options to handle issues many group members have surrounding drivers reducing by way of neighborhoods.

“On a few of these facet streets, to assist scale back cut-through issues and rushing issues, is presumably including some highway bumps, velocity bumps, to be put in on a number of the streets which have the worst issues,” Potter stated. 

Former member and chair of the Transportation Fee, Andy Draheim, expressed his help for the proposal and cited quite a lot of causes and statistics as to why.

“I’m a powerful advocate and supporter of this variation, and of highway diets on the whole,” Draheim stated. “We’d like for automobiles, cyclists and pedestrians to discover ways to share a highway.”

Draheim referred to a truth sheet created by the American Affiliation of Retired Individuals (AARP) that explains a number of the frequent misconceptions about highway diets. 

A consultant from ROWE presents the findings of the highway food regimen research.

Following the general public listening to portion of the assembly, design companies division supervisor at ROWE, Jeff Markstrom, introduced the findings of the highway food regimen research. 

ROWE Skilled Providers Firm consultant Jeff Markstrom presents the highway food regimen research the corporate did relating to Hagadorn Street in the course of the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, Transportation Fee assembly. (Dylan Lees for ELi)

He mentioned the three totally different site visitors eventualities ROWE studied revolving across the Hagadorn Street intersections, which included:

  • Present Circumstances: Present 4-lane cross part.
  • Future Circumstances (No Construct): Forecasted 15-year (2038) site visitors volumes with present four-lane roadway cross.
  • Future Circumstances (Street Weight loss plan): Forecasted 15-year (2038) site visitors volumes with proposed three-lane cross part.

Markstrom emphasised the lower in crashes, particularly facet swipe accidents and rear endings, that highway diets would help in. 

“The conversion from 4 [lanes] to a few [lanes] does enhance security,” Markstrom stated. “It improves left turns, it typically reduces accidents. In conclusion, we discover {that a} conversion wouldn’t adversely impression the site visitors motion on Hagadorn Street.”

Commissioner John Boyse (left) and Senior Undertaking Engineer Stephen Clayton in the course of the Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, Transportation Fee assembly. (Dylan Lees)

The commissioners had been then given time to debate what they’d heard from the general public in addition to from Markstrom.

“It’s necessary for us to have a look at how this impacts them [the community members], utilizing their property and the way we will reduce destruction,” Mitchell Moore stated. 

With the knowledge offered to them and the quite a few opinions introduced by East Lansing group members, commissioners agreed to revisit the proposal in January. At that assembly, they’ll make the choice whether or not to advise the Metropolis Council to approve the undertaking or not. 

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