2020 Meridian Township Road plan benefits motorists ‘and’ cyclists

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The proposed 2020 Road Plan for Ingham County that recommends Jolly Road be repaved from four lanes of traffic to three will decrease automobile traffic woes and also keep cyclists safer, said Tim Potter, a member of the Meridian Township Transportation Committee and MSU’s sustainable transportation manager.

The four lanes have two lanes going in each direction and the proposed three-lane reduction would change it to one lane in each direction with an added center turn lane.

According to emails from community residents and communication records in the meeting agenda, many residents are concerned that the reduction of lanes will increase problems because the intersections are already high traffic areas and lack signals.

Tim Potter is an administrator for two groups on Facebook: Friends of Complete Streets for Meridian Township and Friends of Meridian Township Pathways. The groups discuss riding conditions for bikes paths, and they also promote safety and additional design for transportation paths.

“We are interested in the road plan because it creates a safer place for cyclists to ride, so we promote the project on our Facebook groups,” he said.

Potter said he started the Facebook group to have and encourage discussion among people riding on the roads and ways to make roads safer.

He said a number of FB group members will sometimes get together to clean and maintain the pathways, but they also get involved in township meetings.

“It’s important to represent us and our legal right to ride in the road,” he said. “Oftentimes, a number of people will only ride off-road because they’re concerned about people in the road hitting them, but it’s safer in many cases to ride in the street at higher speeds because there’s often a lot of crashes on the pathways.

“It impacts a lot of people,” he said. “When roads get done, they get safer for all users, not just motor vehicles.”

            Potter said a lot of times, the township can’t advocate or take a position for some of their concerns aside from providing information until it gets to a certain point in the political process, so the group tries to help it along.

            He said he thinks there’s a safety issue on Okemos Road.

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The intersection at Jolly Road and Okemos Road in Meridian Township may be altered by the 2020 Ingham County Road Plan.

The Transportation Committee meets once a month to discuss the 2020 Road Plan among other topics.  The next meeting is set to take place on March 19, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Central Fire Station #91 located at 5000 Okemos Road.

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