During Director of Public Services Lee Hays report to the Hastings City Council Monday, the initial work on a city network of bike lanes in the city came up. Mayor Dave Tossava said when driving on West State Road, he noticed DPS workers had ground out the center lane marking on West State Road.
“They are not going to put parking in there are they?” he asked. “They are putting parking on the south side, yes.” Hays said.
“We’ve never had parking there. The concern I have is because of all the big trucks," Tossava said.
'That’s a main truck route of Bradford White, a lot of big trucks come through there, do we want the bike lanes that close to the traffic lane? We’ve never had a parking lane there, is there a need for it?”
Hays said he and Jim James had that discussion with the contractor Monday. “There are actually a lot of houses along State Road there, so we determined that …if they need roadside parking, they need somewhere to park…so that road is wide enough to have an eight foot parking stall, four and half foot bike lane, two 11 foot driving lanes.”
“I still think it going to be dangerous out there…” Tossava insisted. “I really don’t think we need to put a parking lane on the south side of State Road…with the new bike trail there will be more bicycles and especially on weekends…I think it’s just dangerous…you should think about it again before you put a parking lane on the south side of that road.”
“Okay, I’ll look into it for sure,” Hays said.
Councilwoman Brenda McNabb Stange objected to moving ahead with striping before they discussed the master plan covering the bike lanes.
“Because there are issue like that that come up, the striping calls for parking on one side; we didn’t discuss what side it would be on…as well as the residents not being notified that there’s no longer going to be parking allowed on one side of the street. Michigan does have parking on both sides of the street and one of those is going away and we never let anybody know that that was going to happen.”
"The master plan calls for ordinances prohibiting parking and signage and other things that were supposed to be done before we did the striping, and we’ve done none of that yet…"
She named other streets that would have changes done without discussion, or public input. “We should follow the master plan…if we’re going to deviate, we need to talk about it, this is putting the cart before the horse.”
“You’re exactly right,” City Manager Jeff Mansfield said. “We should have had this conversation with property owners and made them aware of that, and we take full responsibility for that…we will do that.”
Councilman Don Smith suggested since the plan would be done in a couple of phases they have a workshop for council members before the next phases begin.//
Mansfield agreed, noting there are challenges with developing bike lanes; the plans have streets sharing all forms of traffic, and some streets are not wide enough to do that.