I am very excited to announce that my administration will be able to convert six one-way streets in the downtown area to two-way streets.
Lansing has several one-way streets in our downtown. Converting these to two-way streets would be a tremendous benefit to the city. Two-way streets slow down cars, which increases safety of those in the area and provides a more vibrant business climate. Roads like Washington Square and Michigan Avenue have more retail and foot traffic, and are slower and safer. Two–way streets will be a boost our downtown and is supported by many of the existing businesses and residents of the downtown.
I have worked with staff and MDOT to evaluate which streets are possible to be converted from one- way to two-way at this time, and we have determined that following pairs of streets can be converted from one-way to two-way: Grand Avenue, Capitol Avenue, Walnut Street, Pine Street, Ottawa Street, and Allegan Street.
Costs to do this in the past have been expensive and prohibitive. The City of Lansing is able to do this now because we were able to secure $3.3 million towards this effort through the supplemental appropriations bill which was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor late last year. These dollars will go towards traffic signal changes and any necessary road changes. The dollars for the traffic signal changes have been allocated as a pilot program to utilize smart-signal technology to connect traffic signals with automated cars. Additionally, the City has road funding already designated towards road fixes for these roads, and those fixes will come as part of the conversion to two-way streets.
Public Service Director Andy Kilpatrick will be working with city staff and MDOT to create a plan to convert these streets. Department of Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement Director Andi Crawford will be creating a plan to alert the public to the changeover in streets. Many businesses have already expressed support for these conversations, and further conversations will be taking place with those currently living or working on any of these streets.