Lansing City Council’s recent inaction to accept federal Transportation Enhancement and Transportation Alternative funding for this project is threatening our City’s commitment to implementing Complete Streets and the City’s Non-motorized Transportation Plan.
$1.1 million in federal funding is currently available to construct a 3.5 mile non-motorized multi-use path along the Consumers Energy power line corridor. The project will extend the Lansing River Trail, creating an essential east-west non-motorized transportation route linking numerous community assets within South Lansing to the rest of City and to neighboring Delhi Township (see PDF).
These funds are specific to supporting non-motorized transportation improvements, and could not be used for any other purpose. By leaving these funds on the table, Lansing would walk away from a long-standing commitment towards planning for a sustainable, vibrant community.
Lansing has shown great leadership in accommodating non-motorized users in recent years. In 2009, City Council unanimously adopted a Complete Streets ordinance, becoming the first community in Michigan to recognize that all users have a right to safe and convenient transportation options within the community. The proposed South Lansing Pathway is a key transportation and recreational facility as identified in numerous community plans including Lansing’s current Master Plan, Non-motorized Plan, and their Parks and Recreation Plan. It can even be found in City planning documents dating back to 1974.
Despite the fact that this project has received an enormous amount of public input and support from thousands of City residents, Lansing City Council ignored the will of the people when they failed to adopt a resolution of support this past Monday in order to move this project forward. Instead, they pulled the resolution from the agenda, jeopardizing the City’s ability to meet federal and state deadlines to secure $1.1 million in transportation funding and capitalize on a unique opportunity to save the City close to $260,000 in local match dollars.
For more information on the background of this project, click here.
Moving forward, I recognize that there will be ample opportunities for additional public input and community questions to be answered regarding this project. I request, however, that City Council hold a special meeting prior to August 23rd to take up the South Lansing Pathway resolution in order to meet the Michigan Department of Transportation's official deadline for these competitive funds.
The South Lansing Pathway is identified in numerous community plans including Lansing’s current Master Plan, Non-motorized Plan, Parks and Recreation Plan, and can even be found in City planning documents dating back to 1974. By adopting the resolution the City will take the first steps in securing federal and state funding to secure $1.1 million in transportation funding and capitalize on a unique opportunity to save the City nearly $260,000 in local match dollars.
Please do not pass up this unique opportunity to move our community forward. Please take appropriate action to accept available funding in order to build this essential mutli-use path, which will link numerous community assets within South Lansing to the Lansing River Trail and to neighboring Delhi Township.