Shoreline Drive narrows the subject of open house in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, MI — As Muskegon prepares to temporarily close lanes on a major thoroughfare, city officials are offering ways for the public to learn more and have their say.

Shoreline Drive, which is Business US 31, which connects downtown to Muskegon Lake, will be reduced from four lanes to two for several months this fall. One southbound lane and one northbound lane will be eliminated during the pilot.

The idea is to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists between the city center and the lake by reducing the number of lanes to cross. In addition, it is believed that the speed of traffic will be reduced, which will increase the security conditions.

“This pilot project is not permanent but is the first step in a long process of community engagement, conceptual design and general planning for the corridor,” said Leo Evans, director of Muskegon’s public works department, in a prepared statement.

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Dates for the project have not been set and are partly dependent on public comment at an upcoming project information open house, Evans told MLive. Officials have discussed starting August, but Evans said he’s not sure that will provide enough preparation time. A suggested end date is October.

The open house will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, July 25, outside the Shoreline Drive entrance to the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, between Third and Fifth Streets. More information on the pilot project as well as how to share feedback will be available by clicking here.

The “traffic calming” experience will be set up between Seventh Street and Terrace Avenue. It will be halted sooner than expected if it causes major problems, officials said.

The targeted area includes crossing points to the Heritage Landing festival grounds, which will host the Christian Unity Music Festival, August 10-13, and the Michigan Irish Music Festival, September 15-18.

Blocked lanes will be redesigned for public enjoyment with amenities such as outdoor seating and artwork and will include dedicated lanes for cyclists. Community members interested in helping put the closed lanes in place are encouraged to contact Deputy Director of Public Works Dan VanderHeide at dan.vanderheide@shorelinecity.com.

Traffic engineers’ assessment of the impacts of the closure will include changes to traffic patterns and travel times. The results should be presented to the municipal commission in December.

There are five traffic lights in the study area. Preliminary estimates indicate that motorist wait times in this corridor, which currently total 0 to 60 seconds, would increase to a total of between 90 and 120 seconds with the road narrowing in place, according to city officials. .

Between 12,000 and 20,000 vehicles travel daily, according to city data.

If the “road diet” is accomplished without major disruptions, the city will begin negotiating with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), which controls the road, about how to make the change permanent.

However, any permanent changes will take years to happen, according to city officials.

Besides Heritage Landing, Shoreline Drive separates downtown from Pigeon Hill Brewing Company’s Brewer’s Lounge, Aquastar Cruises Wharf, WWII Museum Ship LST 393, Shoreline Inn, Lake House Waterfront Grille, Marina of Terrace Point, the housing of Terrace Point Landing development and the Viridian Shores neighborhood currently under development.

The Lakeshore Trail runs along the lake side of Shoreline in this area.

A pilot project in the fall of 2022 will reduce Shoreline Drive in Muskegon between Seventh Street and Terrace Avenue.

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