The future plans of Lansing’s welcome mat — or perhaps red carpet — are being closely scrutinized.
A single, unified study aims to transform the Michigan Avenue corridor and improve walking ease, ease of driving, bicycling safety, transit access, placemaking, and development desires such as access to businesses and emergency services.
The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, in partnership with the city of Lansing, rolled out “The Vision for Michigan’s Avenue” and is making headway as a foundation for a vivid future is forged.
“The Vision for Michigan’s Avenue will serve as a concept plan that all asset owners along the corridor — including the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Capital Area Transportation Authority, and Michigan Department of Transportation — and community members and stakeholders can agree on and work together to implement,” according to a recent Tri-County news release.
The planning commission gleans off previous studies performed with the assistance of architectural design and engineering firms. Technical work and traffic analysis have been ongoing, and the commission anticipates the study to be finalized in early 2023. These studies provide insight into how the area will best benefit regarding attraction, safety and accessibility. Additionally, community engagement is essential — the community is encouraged to participate in the conversation.
Recommendations resulting from studies and public input will be integrated into the vision, informing design work for road construction projects planned as soon as 2023 and 2024. While the result is planned to benefit everyone, significant compromises are expected. Realities such as limited space for transportation and placemaking options are obstacles the commission acknowledged and is prepared to tackle while keeping the core mission at the forefront.
“Michigan Avenue is at the heart of our region and state, connecting global talent from Michigan State University to the state Capitol, where decisions are made every day for the people of Michigan,” said Tri-County Executive Director Jim Snell.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor noted that Michigan Avenue is “the historic gateway to Lansing” and that the future of the critical corridor is important for the entire region, which is why the effort requires collaboration and integration of several stakeholders, business and people.
“The city of Lansing can better plan for the future of Michigan Avenue by taking a regional approach,” Schor said. “We can work with local businesses and job providers along the Michigan Ave. corridor, as well as nearby residents and other interested parties, to develop sensible long-term goals that connect communities and recognize our potential for future growth along this corridor.”