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Four One-Way Downtown Lansing Streets Will Become Two-Ways By This Fall

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Pedestrians in downtown Lansing will eventually have to look both ways before crossing the street.

The city is using $3.3 million in state funding to switch six streets from one-way to two-way traffic.

The conversion of Pine Street, Walnut Street, Grand Avenue and Capitol Avenue should be completed by this fall. Allegan and Ottawa streets will be converted at a later date once the Michigan Department of Transportation finishes nearby construction at Interstate 496. 

Lansing Public Service Director Andy Kilpatrick said having fewer lanes could encourage people to drive slower, and the two-way streets should be easier to navigate.

"You don’t have to go around the block,” he said. “You can have a more direct route.”

Lansing switched a number of roads from two-ways to one-ways in 1953. At the time, urban planners thought one-way streets would shuttle cars into and out of the city more quickly.

But Kilpatrick said many visitors found the one-way streets confusing and, in 1999, the city changed Ionia, Washtenaw and Shiawassee streets back to two-way. Now, Lansing has the money to revert more roads.

“It’s been a matter of priorities and funding,” Kilpatrick said.

Construction was originally planned for summer 2020 but got pushed back because of the pandemic. Residents can learn more about the project during public meetings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on July 15 and Aug. 12 in the lobby of Lansing City Hall, 124 W. Michigan Ave. 

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