Biking in the Lansing Area

edited August 2008 in Off-Topic
So, I recently moved into Lansing and commute to work via bike on the RiverTrail. It's an amazing change of pace and a vast improvement in my quality of life. I was previously carpooling about 20 minutes into downtown Lansing or taking the entire length of the CATA #1 from Meridian Mall. Not only is my commute 20-30 minutes shorter, I'm burning calories and taking in the scenery, instead of staring at the back of someone's car. Oh, lest I not forget -- I'm saving cash, too.

So, I'm curious -- how many others on this site utilize a bicycle as a primary form of transportation? Where's your favorite place to bike? What are some of the major obstacles you face or perceive? How would you make Lansing more bike-friendly?

(Topic Disclaimer: although this isn't related to a specific development, I do think it's related to the social / cultural movement back to city centers and urbanity that we're seeing here in Lansing and elsewhere in the U.S.)


  • I ride mostly on the river trail, throughout MSU, and down Michigan Ave. My favorite trip is to start the river trail at Kalamazoo and Clippert and ride to Old Town.
  • Jared,

    Do you think we should merged this with the thread I created (i.e. The Lansing River Trail), or perhaps merge my post with this one since this is more about biking in general than the River Trail? It seems like these two threads apart could be redundant and clutter.

    Anyway, I use the River Trail for recreation pretty frequently. My favorite stretch is between Old Town and Moores Park. I'm particularly impressed with the western expansion (i.e. River Point Park to Moores Park). I wish more of the trail looked like that. I think a section of the east trail between Elm Park (near River Point) and Potter Park needs some upgrades. I've been pleased, though, with the improvements where it goes beneath Cedar Street.

    Another interesting ride is along Kalamazoo, which has dedicated bike lanes. It gets pretty difficult between Hunter Park and the area just west of Pennsylvania because of the old hills that dominate the area, but its worth he trip.

    I'd always thought it would be great to have bike lanes on Michigan, but that would probably mean either taking out the parallel parking or an entire traffic lane on each side, which doesn't seem to be an option. Perhaps, though, there is enough room to simply shrink the lanes down a bit to squeeze out a bike lane.
  • An interesting thing I noticed in New York City is that they have started to paint bike lanes green, because they've found with research that drivers are less likely to swerve into or drive in the lanes. I guess it's because they subconsciously think it's grass.

    I would be a big fan of bike lanes down Michigan Ave, and I think the road is wide enough for them.
  • In response to LMich's merge idea, I think the two threads could stay separate since this thread could include other trail systems as well.

    We can wait and see what happens. Any input from other people?
  • Having just moved out to Folsom, CA, I have to say that it's awesome living in a more bike friendly town. I lived on the west side of Lansing, and there just wasn't a good way to get around on a bike over there. But here, there are bike lanes and trails everywhere. I ride to work everyday, and not once have I ever felt threatened by traffic.

    I definitely agree with Jared about Michigan Ave. And, I think they could do Michigan Ave on the west side just as easily, but converting it to a 3 lane with a turning lane. There's just not enough traffic most days to fill the current 4 lane road. And having at least one safe bike route from the west side to downtown would go a long way toward helping Lansing be more bike friendly.
  • edited August 2008
    So, you live currently on the Eastside or in EL? You never explained where "here" is.

    Yeah, the Westside is not bike-friendly, at all.

    BTW, they need to put some bike lanes on Aurelius, particularly between Mt. Hope and Jolly, or at least mark the shoulders as bike lanes. That's one of the more unpleasant rides I've had.
  • Lmich, where do i live? East Lansing. mindbender just moved out to Folsom, CA.
  • No, I was asking mindbender lives in the metro, but I think I may have misread something else, as well.
  • edited August 2008
    I currently live in Folsom, CA. That's where the good bike lanes are. I moved out here in May for a job.

    When I lived in Lansing, I lived in Delta Twp, but spent a lot of time in East Lansing for school, and worked in downtown Lansing for a number of years.
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