Despite $1.2 billion state road fund, don’t expect better Lansing streets this year

By Alexander Smith
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s signing of a $1.2 billion road funding package in 2015 is good news for Michigan’s roads. Most notably, the package will raise the fuel tax and the cost of vehicle registration to put toward road repair. For Lansing’s streets, those repairs are long overdue. “They’re okay, they could use some improvement though,” said Preston Nowsch, 22. “I know every day coming down Grand River, I have to be in a particular lane to miss out on a pothole.”

Lansing adopted the Pavement Surface Evaluation & Rating System in 2002 to grade local roads.

Road salt still a go-to for wintery Lansing roads, but city eyeing a change

By Alexander Smith
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Road salt is one of the state’s top tools to keep cars on the road during winter, but for how much longer? In Lansing, it’s still an important tool in the city’s snow removal program. “Generally speaking, we’ll apply salt down to maybe 10 degrees, then we’ll apply what’s called a sand-salt mix, because salt will not react if the temperature gets too cold,” said Public Service Director Chad Gamble. “It’ll just be rocks on the roadway, which is no good.”

Gamble said even though some streets are left unsalted, major plow operations use 200 to 300 tons of the sand-salt mix. “We don’t apply salt to all 400 miles of neighborhood streets, it’s somewhat of a waste of money,” said Gamble.

The struggle is real: parking in downtown Lansing

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Everybody knows the feeling of struggling to find a parking spot. Especially in congested city areas, it can be difficult to find a place to leave your car before a shopping outing, a quick bite to eat, or even a day of work. There are several options—you could drive in circles looking for a street side opening, where you’ll empty your pockets of change for the meter. Or you could find a parking garage and pay significantly more for your temporary spot. People on the streets of Lansing were more than willing to share their transportation stories.

Meridian Township board decides to make town greener. Literally

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

On Feb. 2, every member of the Meridian Township board agreed to pass Zoning Amendment 15080. This revision to the existing street tree ordinance will see the addition of more trees on the sides of many major roads in the township, as well as ensure the preservation of existing street trees. One purpose of this zoning amendment is to reduce traffic speeds on some major roads, without changing the speed limit. “The goal is to make the roads safer by calming and reducing traffic speeds,” said Director of Community Planning and Development Mark Kieselbach.

Ingham County roads have seen better days

By Andrew Merkle
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter

They say there are two things guaranteed in life: death and taxes. In Michigan it might be safe to add a third: deteriorating roads. The condition of roads continues to worsen across the state and the nation, and lawmakers have pondered ways to fix the problem. The Michigan Department of Transportation published a reality check about the condition of Michigan’s roads. The report produced by MDOT showed that from 2004-2012 the amount of roads in good and fair condition has decreased.

Bigger budgets would mean better roads in Clinton County

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Roads around Clinton County are beginning to thaw as the winter season fades away, and so the reappearance of cracks, potholes and the struggle to find the money to fix them returns. Clinton County resident Beth Klein is unhappy with the conditions of the roads, and believes more funding should be available to fix them. “I think they could use improvement they are pretty busted up,” Klein said. “As far as the road repair…I think that is more dependent on state funding and actually repairing rather than patching.”

Although residents may be frustrated, it is more complicated than going out and simply repairing entire roads, explains Dan Armentrout the director of engineering at the Clinton County Road Commission. Not all fixes can be universally used on any type of road.

Lansing Street in St. Johns soon to see repairs

By Kenedi Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNS — The city of St. Johns is beginning a project to redo Lansing Street to make it more traveler-friendly, officials said. According to Dave Kudwa, Community Development Director of St. Johns, this is roughly a $575,000 project due to start somewhere around the end of March.

Redi-Ride is ready for changes

By Erin Gray
The Meridian Times

Proposals for CATA’s Redi-Ride service could increase taxes for Meridian Township citizens. Former Meridian Township Treasurer Tom Klunzinger said when Redi-Ride was voted into effect in 2000, the board proposed for a .2-mill tax to provide the service on a trial basis. Redi-Ride is a curb-to-curb bus service for citizens to any destination within Meridian, according to Township Manager Frank Walsh. “We have had some concerns raised about the service,” said Walsh, “So we are holding a community meeting to listen and engage the community in what issues have arisen.” The meeting was held on Oct. 27 at the Meridian Township Hall.

Big changes coming to Holt in the future

By Carrie Lynch
Holt Journal staff reporter

Director of Community Development Tracy Miller proposed an idea to extend TIF plans from 2024 to 2036 for the future development of Holt.

The Downtown Development Authority Board of Delhi Township proposed this idea at the board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29. in order to get the city of Holt more economically stable as well as a close knit community. Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a tool for local governments to help restore a rundown area of a community or help revive the economically sluggish parts a city.  When a city establishes a TIF, excess tax money gets redirected towards the reconstruction of whatever the city is in need of. As a town develops, the tax revenue increases, leaving more money for future development.