The Meridian Township Board voted unanimously to support the Ingham County Road Department’s road-diet plan to change Jolly Road from four to three lanes. A road diet is a technique in transportation planning where the number of travel lanes and/or effective width of the road is reduced to improve the flow of traffic. Rick Shafer, a former Traffic and Transportation Committee member said that when he first first heard about the project, he thought it seemed counterintuitive to restrict traffic to three lanes. Currently, one lane is typically used for through traffic while the other lane is used for right turns and the inner, eastbound lane is used for left turns, for example at Okemos High School and Hiawatha Elementary School. The Ingham County Road Department met with the Okemos School District to review whether the high school’s traffic flow can be improved for better overall efficiency.
“There will still be four lanes, but they would be reassigned to how they are being used, especially at peak hours, particularly to access the high school,” said Bill Conklin, manager of the Ingham County Road Department.