Pedestrian Safety in Meridian

Pedestrian Safety in Meridian

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - On some of the busiest roads in Meridian Township it would be likely to see a bicyclist or person cruising on the sidewalk or scurrying across the street, but both modes of transportation can be dangerous when proper safety measures aren't in full effect.

95 percent of Americans own a car, which would only make sense as to why construction is consistent for motorists and at slim chance for pedestrians.

Local resident and pathway activist Tim Potter said, "It's lower priority, there's very little funding. It's like 1 percent i think that's required, within the state budget, to be spent on 'non-motorized' transportation things."

Potter is continuously searching for safer solutions and keeping contact with Meridian Township Police, as well as Meridian Township's Public Works & Engineering Department for advancement.

"It makes me think, you know, what could be done," said Potter.

As a daily biker and pedestrian himself, Potter has seen it all. But even with added solutions Potter said you still can't stop people from doing unsafe things.

"If I'm seeing that much activity just as I'm passing by twice a day. How many people are actually risking their lives to cross Grand River Avenue," he said.

Meridian Township Assistant Township Manager/Director of Public Works & Engineering Derek Perry assures the community's voice has not gone unheard and he appreciates constructive responses posted within the 'Friends of Meridian Township Pathways' Facebook group by local residents, including Potter.

"With our Master Plan we've identified everywhere in the community where we want to have this pathway connection system and that's been in place in the Township since the early 70's," Perry said.

The Township's Pathway Millage has helped provide for projects like a new pedestrian signal, where they have already obtained $1 million.

"Every dime they pay their tax bill, there is actually a portion of that goes toward maintaining and improving this pathway system in the Township," Perry said.

As Vice Chair Commissioner of Lansing's MDOT, Potter is also still working with whomever to improve pedestrian settings.

"I'm just a volunteer advocate, sitting in the commissions, there's only so much I can do. But I hope that we can do something before people get more seriously hurt or injured," Potter said.

Perry said, "This is not just some communities that just do one or two trail projects every decade. This is an ongoing annual thing that we do within Meridian Township."

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