We feel this idea needs to take a detour.
Many different things define small town, USA. Whether it’s the quaint little shops or beautiful natural resources, many towns offer a special uniqueness that defines their community.
Here in Grand Haven, one thing that sets us apart is the boulevard that separates northbound and southbound U.S. 31.
Its existence provides a more scenic atmosphere, as well as a safe zone for the many that walk or ride bikes to get around in our community. Seldom is traffic clear enough in both directions to make it all the way across the highway at one time.
The loss of the median on the north side of town would give our main thoroughfare a look similar to a major highway in nearly any major city. That’s not the image we want here in Grand Haven.
We support the efforts of local officials to keep this plan from becoming a reality.
We wonder if transportation officials have given consideration as to how the much-publicized M-231 highway project will affect the traffic congestion? We must assume that was a big part of justifying the cost of that project — and now, before we have even had a chance to experience the impact, another project is being proposed.
Regardless of the cost, we encourage state officials to table this project until they are able to determine what the real need is.
Everyone knows that traffic can be slow through Grand Haven on Fridays during the summer. For the most part, locals deal with it by avoiding the congestion, or going around it by using side streets.
Eliminating the scenic median to add more lanes to deal with the occasional traffic problem would be akin to buying a 10,000-square-foot home simply to accommodate a large family gathering each Thanksgiving. It’s not a good plan and it isn’t really necessary year round.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.