A greener Meridian makes for a happier Meridian

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Meridian Township’s board weighs the pros and cons of Wayne Beyea’s suggestions to better the community

Meridian Township’s board weighs the pros and cons of Wayne Beyea’s suggestions to better the community.

By Alexia Rodarmer
The Meridian Times

More trees and more lights for pedestrians makes Meridian closer to a greener and safer environment, according to Wayne Beyea, specialist of the Urban & Regional Planning department at Michigan State University.  Beyea presented his ideas to Meridian Township’s board members March 3, 2015.

The presentation by Wayne Beyea was about MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction and sustainability assessment.  He proposed new ideas to the Meridian Township board for approval possible action in the future.  His goals are to make the township a greener community that is friendlier toward pedestrians by putting LED lights along sidewalks and pocket parks within the community.

Beyea said that they “need to be careful on lighting showing into neighborhoods during all hours of the night” but it is important for the people who walk and ride their bicycles on the sidewalks at night.

He then suggested trees between sidewalks and streets to separate pedestrians and vehicles.

Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie said that it is “more comfortable to walk down the sidewalks with street trees between drivers and pedestrians.”  She then asked how Beyea was going to accomplish this.

Beyea said that there are many safety concerns that his organization has to deal with before they can make something like this happen.  “We need to make sure that no trees are blocking drivers’ view of traffic signs,” said Beyea.

Beyea stated that dialogue among the people will help him reach his goal.  The more people talk about how convenient the street trees would be would help make it happen.  As soons as he can get his ideas out to the public, he hopes that people will start talking about it.  He also said that the organization needs examples of other places in Michigan making it work to prove that it is possible and safe.

Supervisor Elizabeth LeGoff then said she was concerned about whether Beyea had any influence on the road commission and how he will be able to do some of the things he has planned for the community.

Beyea then stated that he had no influence on the road commission and that it all depends on the people talking about the issue within the community.  His main focus on the community is safety for people living in the area.

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