Road diets could benefit cyclists

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By Kimberly Naghtin
Meridian Times staff writer

OKEMOS — Community members met at the March 20 township meeting to address surveying road diets to add bike lanes to Okemos Road, Haslett Road, Lake Lansing Road, Hagadorn Road, Park Lake Road, and Central Park Drive would cost the township $25,290.

Managing Director of the Ingham County Road Commission, William Conklin, said he recommends a study of the main roads suggested.

“Each section would cost about $5,000 to study,” said Conklin.

Conklin said to study all suggested roads would cost the township around $15,000 after a 50-50 split of costs proposed between the township and the road commission.

Turning Haslett Road into a two-lane road with bike lanes instead of a three-lane road sparked controversy.

Many cyclists are in favor of the road diet to ensure bikers’ safety.

Haslett community member Bob Level supported the study. Level said that the community needs to focus on data, not common sense.

Others, such as resident Steve Besdeck, said that a road diet would be a waste of money and interfere with traffic.

Level said that he doesn’t feel that money spent on bike lanes would be wasted, but benefit the community and cyclists.

Besdeck said that he doesn’t like restriping of roads because it slows down traffic. He said, “Two lanes instead of three will hinder passing traffic.”

“The township can help us by putting Haslett Road back to four lanes,” said Besdeck.

There was not enough support from the board to move forward with the study.

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