On the east side of Lansing, south of I-496 freeway, a simple street with an inspiring name got a face lift recently. This wasn’t the first time Mt. Hope Ave. was altered in some way. It’s gone from a two lane road to a four lane road and now this change will make it three lanes. The road itself was not altered in any way at all. Essentially Mt Hope got a paint job. It took two days. Someone got paid to do it. Works for me! Starting at the 127 over pass a new center lane was added, outlined in bright orange. To either side there is now one lane in each direction replacing the two lanes it previously had. This new configuration allows an extra two feet along the edge; creating a bike lane. Already, even in its infancy, it was being used by bikers, joggers and myself; the bike walker.
The idea behind this bike path is to connect a section of road from the southern end of East Lansing to the newly constructed bike trails along Aurelius. This area recently upgraded its walk ability by adding bike trails and walking paths connecting the river trail to Hawk Island. It’s these simple changes that add to the mobility and choices for mobility to the residents in the greater Lansing area. At this time a person can get from downtown East Lansing all the way to Moorse Park, to the south and Turner Dodge to the north entirely on a non road bike path. These paths also pass by down town Lansing, Old Town, Potter Park, and many other various parks and businesses. By creating these additional bike lanes on the busier roads and connecting them to existing trails we only add to the flexibility of our residents. We can now choose to bike to work, walk to the park, shop at multiple shopping districts or even visit family and friends without getting into a car. An added benefit, besides a health one, is that walking and biking allow a more intimacy with your surroundings. You notice the cleanliness or lack of in an area. You are within touching distance of fellow bikers and walkers. You can really see the person you are about to pass. You smile and say “hi”. They smile and say “hi”. You can’t really help it. Exercise releases endorphins and makes you happy. And that’s really good for the environment.
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