GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The City of Grand Rapids plans to put Burton Street between Plymouth and Division avenues on a "road diet" this spring.
Crews will turn the four-lane Burton Street into a three-lane road. There will be one eastbound lane and one westbound lane, plus a center turn lane.
Bike lanes will be added to both sides of the road.
This is similar to projects already completed on East Fulton Street and Plainfield and Division avenues.
It's being done to slow down traffic, ultimately reducing crashes and danger zones, according to the City Planning Commission Director Suzanne Schulz.
"The more you can make a road safer, the overall cost gets reduced to people," she said. "Another benefit is that it slows cars down."
The majority of the money slated for the project will go toward repaving the road. Changing the lane layout could be temporary if it doesn't work as planned.
The stretch of Burton slated for construction has a mixture of homes and businesses off the road.
Some businesses like the idea. Others are fighting the plan.
"I'm going to lose parking," said Sunni Mangat of Richard's Take Out and Burton Quick Stop. A petition with more than 800 signatures to prevent the construction sits on his checkout counter.
"Everywhere else you go, they want to widen the road -- they want to put in more lanes," Mangat said. "I don't understand the city cutting down the [road] on each side."
He, along with residents nearby, is also worried about traffic back-ups. Burton is a busy road with approximately 16,000 cars traveling it daily, according to city officials.
Mangat's neighbor John Hall, the general manager of Last Chance Tavern, is looking forward to the construction.
"It will smooth out the flow of traffic and it will slow down things a little bit," Hall optimistically said.
The project is slated to begin in March or April 2012.
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