SOUTH HAVEN — Sometime in 2018 Business Loop 196 in South Haven may be going on a “road diet.”
The “diet” would consist of reducing the number of lanes on the state trunkline to allow for safer pedestrian and bicycle use. If it becomes a reality, the diet would take place on a two-year trial basis to determine its effectiveness.
“The primary benefits of a road diet include enhanced safety, mobility and access for all road users and a ‘complete street’ environment to accommodate a variety of transportation modes,” said South Haven Department of Public Works Director Bill Hunter. “An ever-increasing number of transportation agencies are implementing road diets. The Michigan Department of Transportation is undertaking road diets on several state trunklines throughout West Michigan with more planned in the future.”
But if the road diet takes effect on Business Loop 196, it will take some getting used to, Hunter acknowledged.
“It will be a huge change,” he said.
The proposed lane reduction would extend on Phoenix Street from Blue Star Highway to Broadway. It then would continue south on Broadway, Phillips and LaGrange streets until Aylworth Avenue.