Letter to the editor

‘How to not involve the community’


The MLK reconfiguration project was first sent out for bid in 2023 but received no bids. This would have been an ideal time to involve the community in decision making for this project. No one on MLK or in our neighborhood received notice of the meeting on Feb. 29, the last day of Black History Month, until seven days prior to the meeting. And several in our neighborhood weren’t aware of what this “reconfiguration” project entailed.

Some residents in our neighborhood lived through the construction of I-496 and the reconfiguration of MLK in the 1990s. The wounds are still fresh for them, and they see this new reconfiguration to remove a median they lost homes to when it was built in the 1990s as a betrayal. The plan to put more greenspace and trees on the east side of MLK where there are vacant lots owned by a big developer or State of Michigan buildings has left many of us very puzzled. The west side of the street will get nothing. Andy Kilpatrick pulled traffic data from 2022 at the height of Covid instead of a five-year range.

The Open House on Feb. 29 was promoted as “Informational” and “consultants will be available to answer questions and concerns” which made it appear as though this project was going forward with no opportunity for feedback from the community.

It’s almost as if the city is working from a playbook on “how not to involve the community.”

Jana Nicol

(The writer is a board member of the Westside Neighborhood Association, which voted to oppose the plan to remove the islands from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.)

Please send letters to letters@lansingcitypulse.com, up to 250 words.


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