East Lansing tests new bike project

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s no secret Michigan State is a pretty green campus. Now they're adding yet another addition to their environmentally friendly campus - protected bike lanes.

Student puts away a bike at the MSU campus bike store

“It gets very chaotic,” said Tj Lynch.

He reflected on the more than 20,000 students and staff who own bikes on Michigan State’s campus.

“Especially with everyone coming back. We have numerous amounts of rental bikes that we’re fixing up right now,” said Lynch.

Lynch works as a mechanic at the campus bike store. He says with all the bike traffic, it gets dangerous.

“It’s tough because there aren’t bike lanes all around campus. I try to use them when I can, but then you have to jump back on the sidewalk and jump back in so it’s very tough because some drivers are not ready for that some bikers are not so there’s a lot of bike traffic on the sidewalks,” he explained.

Safety for the many cyclers is the main reason why Fred Woodhams says the university decided to test out a protected bike path.

“Really it’s just removable stripping that’ll be on the lanes to separate the bikes and the vehicles,” said Woodhams who works in the Infrastructure Planning and Facilities deparment.

The protected bike path will run on the Southbound side of Bogue Street in East Lansing- allowing bike and electric scooter traffic in both directions. Vehicle travel will be cut down to one lane.

“We wanted to improve Michigan State’s bicycle-friendly campus, make it even better,” said Woodham. “Go from a silver level to maybe a platinum level.”

For a little over two months, the university will study traffic data to see whether safety improves.
But the protected lane will be removed in October when the program ends.

“It’s more predictable for motorists when you’re in the roadway rather than coming up and down the sidewalks at high speeds, yeah it’s going to be an interesting and pretty exciting experiment,” said Tim Potter, the manager of MSU Bikes.

Construction on Bogue Street starts on Thursday and is supposed to finish by next week. If all goes well this will be a permanent solution starting next year.
On top of their bike shop, Michigan State already has 10 miles of on-street bicycle lanes, two secure bike parking facilities, and eight do-it-yourself repair and air stations.

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