UPDATE: Ingham County wants to trim down Jolly Road
A well-traveled road near the border of Meridian and Alaiedon townships needs to be put on a diet, according to Ingham County road officials.
The Ingham County Road Commission already plans on resurfacing part of Jolly Road from Hagadorn Road to west of Okemos Road, and east of Okemos Road to Dobie Road this summer, but now officials are proposing narrowing the road from four lanes to three lanes.
Currently, Jolly Road has two lanes going in each direction with left turn lanes at some intersections. Traffic experts suggest removing a lane on each side, and adding a center left turn lane continuously from Hagadorn to Okemos Road and from Okemos Road to Dobie Road.
The Ingham County Road Department did a study that included the number of crashes that happen on Jolly Road, plus the number of cars that travel the road each day.
With two schools on that stretch of road and several businesses, the goal of reducing the lanes is to make it safer to turn left.
"It's really a safety improvement between the main intersections, which should have little or no effect on the through capacity of the road. If you think about it, the inner through lanes of Jolly Road are frequently stopped by people waiting to turn left anyway," said Bill Conklin, of the Ingham County Road Commission.
The proposed project wouldn't affect the Okemos Road intersection, which was just revamped in 2018.
"The main intersections in this project are not going to be changed. There's going to be no lane reductions at the Hagadorn, Okemos, Alaiedon Parkway intersections," Conklin said.
However, many people say the area is simply too busy to get rid of any lanes, but Conklin said it's not as busy as it may seem.
"The traffic volumes, although it appears to be fairly busy, is not as high as we thought. Under 15,000 vehicles per day, typically a road does very well capacity-wise and traffic-flow-wise with a road diet," Conklin said.
The Ingham County Road Department will be hosting two public hearings for people to address the changes being made to Jolly Road.
Those meetings will be held at 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13 at Alaiedon Township Hall in Mason, and 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23 at Meridian Township Central Fire Station in Okemos.