By Erik Stiem
A proposed 10-foot wide sidewalk for bicycles and pedestrians was turned down at a recent Lansing Township board meeting due to a lack of funds.
To receive funding for the path’s construction and reconstruction of roads along it, the township would have to notify Ingham County, since this would be a county road, said Lansing Township Supervisor Kathy Rodgers.
The walk path, proposed by the city of Lansing, would run along Mt. Hope Avenue and Moores River Drive to the bridge on Waverly Road over the Grand River, where their jurisdiction ends. From there the path would span the bridge, allowing pedestrians to cross safely, and continue along Waverly Road until it would run along Lansing Road.
The township’s cost for the pathway would be from $200,000 to $400,000, depending on how much aid it would receive from federal funding, according to Andrew Kilpatrick, transportation engineer for the city of Lansing.
However, this figure did not include every cost for the project.
Rodgers said that $200,000 to $400,000 was accurate in terms of the path being done, but it didn’t include all of the roadwork.
This work would include downsizing the roads along the path from four lanes to three lanes, or even two, in some areas to allow more room for the path, Kilpatrick said.
The reconstruction of the roads would cost more than $1 million, according to Bill Conklin, managing director for the Ingham County Department of Transportation and Roads.
According to Kilpatrick, the idea of the project arose when Lansing did its non-motorized plan for the year. People worried about crossing the bridge over the Grand River safely on foot.
Bill Ballenger, a resident of Lansing Township who lives near the bridge and along the proposed pathway, doesn’t believe it is worthwhile.
“What are the priorities of a township with little funding?” Ballenger said. “Don’t they want to spend money to improve infrastructure in need in the township?”
The township answered these questions at a Jan. 29 board meeting, voting 6-0 not to participate in the sidewalk project. Township officials said their priority was a sidewalk on Michigan Avenue, which would allow a safer route to school for township students.
Lansing may proceed with its phase of the project if they so choose, Rodgers said.
For more information and pictures detailing the pathway, click here.