COSTCO gets a thumbs up, BRT continues to get a thumbs down

MERIDIAN TWP., MI (WLNS) – Two months ago, officials in Meridian Township and East Lansing began discussions to bring a Costco wholesale store to the area.

There were two things talked about during Tuesday night’s Meridian Township Board meeting, one of them being Costco and the other, CATA’s Bus Rapid Transit project, which has caused a lot of controversy between many people in the area.

Starting first with Costco; the board unanimously approved the agreement with East Lansing to move the project forward, which has created a lot of excitement among mid-Michigan residents.

It will also bring a lot of new jobs to the area. Some people voiced their concerns a few weeks ago during public meetings regarding the big-box store’s location.

May said they are concerned with the noise and busy traffic that it will create, but overall it’s something many say they support.

But for months, the BRT has created a lot of controversy among those who live near or frequently drive down the Grand River corridor.

People who own businesses along that stretch are also concerned and it was a hot topic during tonight’s public comment.

CATA said the proposal will raise the Capital area to new heights, making it easier for people to get from point A, to point B, faster and safer, running from Okemos to downtown Lansing with a bus only lane.

However, after many meetings and discussions, residents said they are not convinced with what CATA said the project will do.

The controversy continued during Tuesday night’s meeting. Many people frustrated over a local newspaper article, referencing what allegedly had happened during the last township meeting.

Many feel they’re being kept in the dark, saying there isn’t a lot of information out there.

“No one that I speak to, except for the informed people that watch these meetings, they don’t know about the BRT,” Patty McPhee, a Haslett resident said. “We’re explaining it to the people, they don’t know about it.”

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette weighed in as well, speaking on behalf of safety.

“I really think it is a legitimate concern that this board should have, with the fact that they want to run the BRT bus down the center of the road because where do you ever see that? I don’t see that. And the reason is that there are all kinds of handicapped people, blind people and others, who need to get on a bus and that’s why buses go down the side,” Judge Collette said. “So they can get to the bus.”

CATA officials said the project is still in it’s early planning stages, with only 30 percent of it designed.

In the meantime, officials said they plan to continue working with the community to come to a consensus on moving plans forward.

6 News will continue to fill you in on any updates throughout the process.


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