Delta Township added about 2.5 miles of bike lanes along Old Lansing Road this fall, as township officials work toward a plan to add non-motorized options for bikers and pedestrians.
The bike lanes, completed last month, added 5 feet of pavement on either side of Old Lansing Road, from Lansing Road to Waverly Road.
“The bike lanes are new with the repaving of the road,” said Matt Hannahs, the assistant county engineer for the Eaton County Road Commission. “They were constructed on existing wide gravel shoulders.”
Delta Township currently has bike lanes on Old Lansing Road, Willow Highway from Waverly Road to Canal Road, and parts of Marketplace Boulevard and St. Joe Highway.
“It’s been a township goal to build out non-motorized facilities when opportunities present themselves,” Delta Township Manager Brian Reed said. “This gives bikers pathways to connect to other municipalities and it provides an additional 2.5 miles of bike lanes for them to use.”
Delta Township has added bike lanes and separated pathways when opportunities arise and grants are available to add those amenities, Reed said..
“The road condition was not in good shape, so in that stretch the road had begun to deteriorate. It was rutting and had some erosion on the side of the road,” Reed said. “Adding the bike lanes while the Eaton County Road Commision was repaving Old Lansing Road made the project much more efficient and effective.”
The project received $520,000 in grant funds from federal Transportation Alternatives Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program, Reed said. Delta Township provided grant matching funds. The project for the bike lanes cost about $675,000. The Eaton County Road Commission staff designed and administered the project.
“With the roads being bad and the accidents involving cyclists that have happened, I think the bike lanes are great,” said Eric Clark, the president and CEO of Eric’s Cycling and Fitness, a bicycle shop about 5 miles from the newly added bike lanes.
The bike lanes provide access to residential areas, the Woldumar Nature Center, a township park and will connect to a future pathway along Waverly Road being constructed by the Ingham County Road Department, said Hannahs.
“I think they’re really helpful. It gives me a lot more room to ride. I bike up and down the roads often, so I definitely feel safer,” said David Campbell, a cyclist in Delta Township.
The last time the township added bike lanes was to Willow Highway in 2018.
“I think it’s good to have more bike lanes, that way bikers can have their own designated lanes in traffic,” said David Peck, a cyclist in Delta Township. “There are a lot of distracted people on the roads and there’s a better chance of not getting hit by a car because of these bike lanes.”
Reed said the township has about 4 more miles of bike lanes planned in the future. There are plans to add 1.22 miles of lanes along Michigan Avenue, 1.63 miles along Mount Hope Highway and 1 mile along Nixon Road, Reed said.The Michigan Avenue bike lane project is projected to happen in 2020 while Mount Hope Highway and Nixon Road bike lanes will likely be constructed in 2021.