2018-03-08 / Front Page

M-22 changes possible in spring

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

A drive to improve pedestrian safety may slow down traffic along M-22 in Leland and M-204 in Lake Leelanau.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has come forward with plans for safety improvements based on discussions with Leland Township officials.

In a separate plan through MDOT, Suttons Bay Village officials are planning to improve five crosswalks. Coverage can be found in this section on p. 19.

The Leland Township plans, due to be reviewed by members of the Leland Planning Commission tonight and the Township Board at its regular monthly meeting Monday, offer low-cost options to calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns have been on the rise as Leelanau County roadways grow busier.

“We made it known that we wanted to try something new,” supervisor Susan Och said about working with MDOT. “They came to us with these ideas, which is really refreshing.”

A proposed resolution to be considered by the Township Board calls for a left turn lane on M-22 (Main Street) between Cedar Street, south of the bridge and Pearl Street.

The lane could be created with striping and without losing parking spaces, according to James Lake, MDOT communications representative for the northern Lower Peninsula.

Another option, installation of a four-way stop at River and Main streets, is a possibility only if the Township Board chose not to endorse the “left turn” option, Lake said.

However, the four-way stop option was not included in the first set of actions suggested by MDOT.

Another suggested option to calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety might be called a “no-brainer” — creating a “no passing” zone in Leland through pavement markings.

The no passing zone would run from Cherry Street at the north end of the village to Reynolds Street to the south.

“You wouldn’t think it was a passing zone, but it’s marked like that now,” Och said.

On the north side of the unincorporated village, a crosswalk is planned where Pearl Street crosses the state highway.

In Lake Leelanau, where villagers have called for measures to help slow traffic, recommendations were also suggested.

“It’s a small town. No one wants to be in a place with people going through at 60 mph,” Och said.

The bridge spanning the Lake Leelanau Narrows would be marked with flexible, plastic sticks to encourage traffic toward the center of the bridge.

“People walk that bridge and it’s not pedestrian-friendly,” Och said. “It will also encourage them to slow down.”

Crosswalks are proposed with green upright signs that say, “Yield to Pedestrians.”

Larger 35 mph signs at the entrance of the village.

If approved, the changes could be put in place when spring arrives.

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A very dangerous road for

A very dangerous road for bicyclists is from Leelanau state park to the village of Northport (county road 629). The bike lane along the road out of Northport is very narrow and goes to non-existent about 4 miles north of the village. There are many campers at the state park who ride their bikes along this stretch of road and there is going to be a tragedy sooner or later, if the Leelanau Road Commission doesn't widen the shoulder and bike lanes. Previous requests to the Road Commission have been turned down.

I would also like to see an

I would also like to see an official reduced speed limit on M22 between Reynolds and 204. There are homes and neighborhoods along this stretch that access Lake Leelanau and with all of the sharp curves it is dangerous to cross the street.