Mayor Andy Schor kicked off the Imagine the Avenue pilot event on the 2000 block from Fairview to Clemens, as a means to test out the future of Michigan Avenue as a commercial corridor.
As part of the redesign, the fewer traffic lanes come with parking off the curb for an insulated bikeway and added greenery along the street.
“We wanted to explore what Michigan Avenue could be in the next five years, and listen to what our residents and our visitors want the avenue to look like as we reconstruct and move forward,” said Schor.
The city is looking for around 400 survey responses to analyze the project’s next step.
“People want walkability. These small little design changes are really important to boosting our walkability and our bikeability,” said Schor.
“Before we walked in, there was a woman walking her dogs in the lanes. We hadn’t thought of that. Even better.”
CATA chair Nathan Triplett said Imagine the Avenue is exciting for public transportation. “This is a way to get outside, get images from the abstraction and give people the opportunity to experience what a transformed corridor would look like,” said Triplett.
“One of the things from CATA’s perspective that’s most exciting is how it has been designed to accommodate all modes of transportation: cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and of course public transit.”
Though the different set up will be up all week on the 2000 block, the weekend starts the festivities. The Lansing Bike Party will host a ride down the pilot section starting at the Peanut Barrel in East Lansing Friday Aug. 10 at 6 p.m.
During this time, Art’s Night Out will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with local music and artists throughout the neighborhoods on the 2000 block.
Participating venues include Asian Gourmet, Bead Boutique, China Flavor, EmPOWer Lansing, Everybody Reads and Triple Goddess bookstore, Green Door, Local Tattoo, Strange Matter Coffee, The Avenue, The Venue, Toarmina’s and Wild Strawberry.
Art’s Night Out performances include Taylor Taylor, Adam Droscha, Kendall Cassella and Mike Bass.
To close out the event, Saturday will include a Family Fun Fest starting on Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the parking lot behind Green Door with food trucks and family fun that includes face painting, balloon animals and Home Depot kid workshops.
For more information, visit www.shapingtheavenue.com