Navigating a multi-lane state highway just got a lot easier for bicyclists on Lansing’s westside and users of the popular Lansing River Trail. A recent resurfacing project on Martin Luther King Blvd/M-99 in Lansing presented an opportunity for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to coordinate with the City of Lansing to install MDOT’s first contra-flow bicycle lane. While the addition of only 150′ of pavement marking and a few signs may not seem like a big deal, the recent restriping makes it easy,
safe and legal for eastbound bicyclist to cross M-99 at Moore’s River Drive. Prior to this, cyclists would either cross the road illegally, transition to sidewalk, or travel nearly 10 times the distance while navigating 6 lanes of traffic to make a “Michigan left” to avoid the one-way street, when in reality the bicyclists simply wants to travel straight 150′.
Prior to the project, this segment of Moore’s River Drive, located between northbound and southbound M-99 was an unorganized roadway and despite the do not enter signs, many motorists and bicyclists traveled the wrong way on this one-way street. With the new pavement markings and signs, order is created in the roadway and motorists and eastbound bicyclists have dedicated lanes. Bicyclists traveling westbound on Moore’s River Drive will share the lane as they had done prior to the project.
Now for west Lansing residents who travels this route by bicycle for their commute to work, to the neighborhood parks, the Lansing River Trail and downtown Lansing and East Lansing, this small improvement provides significant connectivity and mobility improvement What a difference a little paint and a few signs make.
By Josh DeBruyn, MDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.