Getting around without a car: Task force gathers ideas for future of transportation in Lenawee

TrailExtending the Kiwanis Trail and connecting Adrian to Hudson and the Irish Hills seem to be the three most common “wish list” items for people interested in how Lenawee County can be made better for getting around without a car.

A task force that’s trying to plan the future of non-motorized transportation in Lenawee County has spent the past two days gathering ideas. Two days of meetings with county commissioners, biking and walking clubs, road commission members, Kiwanis Clubs, and representatives of different cities, villages and townships culminated in an open house this afternoon at the offices of Lenawee Now, the county’s nonprofit economic development agency.

Although attendance at the open house wasn’t heavy, organizers said they heard from about 35 to 40 people over the course of the two days.

Leah Groya, from Detroit-based consultant livingLAB, said the three items people discussed most were:

  • Extending the Kiwanis Trail, which currently runs from Adrian to Ives Road just south of Tecumseh, all the way into Tecumseh and possibly to Clinton.
  • Connecting Adrian to Hudson and the Lake Hudson Recreation Area.
  • Connecting Adrian to the Irish Hills.

Right now, Lenawee County has relatively few dedicated pedestrian and bike trails. According to an inventory compiled by the Michigan Department of Transportation, besides the Kiwanis Trail, there’s a loop trail in Hudson and a few trail segments in Tecumseh.

The task of putting together a plan for the future of non-motorized transportation has been taken on by One Lenawee, an ad hoc group of volunteers. The current process is funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health to the Lenawee Health Network. The goal is to develop a plan that various partners can use to guide their future efforts, as well as to help them demonstrate that their efforts are part of a bigger picture — something funding agencies like to see on grant applications, Groya said.

Dave Maxwell, chairman of One Lenawee, said the group wants to improve quality of life in the county.

“If you’ve got trails and parks that are all connected, we think that’s good for quality of life,” he said.