LANSING, Mich. — It was a big day for downtown Lansing on Saturday as Grand and Capitol avenues were converted into two way traffic between Oakland Avenue and Washtenaw Street. And more changes are to come, this fall two more streets will be changing their stripes.
“Well, today is an exciting day because we've been planning converting streets for quite a while since the late nineties when we did our last set of streets," said Andy Kilpatrick the director of Public Services for the city of Lansing. "And so today we are converting Capital and Grand Avenue from one way operation to two, way from Oakland down to Washtenaw.”
A long time is right— these changes to some of Lansing's downtown streets are decades in the making.
“It's basically more intuitive for people. It's easier for for vehicles, visitors, businesses, and it's just really what you'd expect in most areas versus the one way, which is a little bit difficult and you have to go around the block getting places," Kilpatrick said.
Kilpatrick tells me the downtown streets were originally one ways because it helps facilitate people in and out of downtown easier. Most of those street direction decisions were made back in the 50s and it wasn’t until the 1990s that the city began converting some of the streets.
“It's taken years to get to this point," he said. "So kind of when the pandemic hit it, it took us a little longer because of that. But we've been making changes for the last year, plus to traffic signals intersection to increase the radii at the curb so that people could make turns they couldn't make. And then now this weekend, we have several crews out there.”
Two more streets, Pine and Walnut are scheduled to be converted this fall.
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