By: Grant Essenmacher
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter
Lansing Township this spring will continue to repair roads as spelled out in a comprehensive road plan in 2015. The plan is based on the road department’s analysis of which streets need to be redone in an effort to improve road conditions for citizens.
Every year in March, the township’s Board of Trustees approves what they want to spend to redo the roads, and Ingham County matches whatever amount they approve. The amount of streets the board decides to redo is dependent on the budget, according to Board Supervisor Kathy Rodgers.
“Typically, the roads that need to be redone the most we redo first,” Rodgers said. “Citizens like it when we show action in repairing local streets, so we typically do not get many complaints after releasing a plan like this.”The plan says that the roads that are to be redone in 2016 are Hopkins Avenue, Woodruff Avenue, Chester Road, and Covington Court. Chester Road runs perpendicular to Woodruff Avenue, Hopkins Avenue, and Covington Court.
According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, 49 percent of roads in the Lansing metro area are in poor or mediocre condition.
Katrina Hart, a Lansing Township resident, says she likes that the town has taken initiative in repairing the roads.
“The roads in Michigan in general are not very good so when they redo them its good. However, the constant construction can be a bit annoying to deal with.” Hart said.
Hart said she notices that the roads are always being worked on in the summer, which aligns with the yearly schedule starting in March.
“In the summer, the construction gets to be really bad. I will say it does help for the winter driving, because the roads have less potholes that you cannot see because of the snow,” Hart said.
In general, the citizens have not complained about the roads in the township according to Rodgers. The idea for repair came straight from the road department and the Board of Trustees.
When a township decides on a plan like this, they typically discuss it in a meeting of the board. However, the Lansing Township Board went one step further, releasing their comprehensive plan online for the citizens to see. According to Michigan State University Urban Affairs and Local Politics expert Laura Reese this is a smart move.
“To me that is an effort to bring in a broader awareness for the process. It will help those in office keep high approval,” Reese said. “Typically, citizens do not go to board meetings in a township that is small.”
While Reese was complimentary of the township’s communication to it’s citizens, she believes that the way they are approaching the process could be changed.
“There’s a lot of situations where townships are broken up because parts of them are located in cities which causes the communication between state and local governments to be poor,” Reese said. “Fixing one piece of road here and one piece of road there is not necessarily the most effective way to fix the issue as a whole.”
The plan is in action and will continue to move forward until the year 2024 according to the township website. Citizens can look forward to better roads and easier driving for years to come.