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Friday, May 22, 2020

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) striped the lanes on US Highway 12 to institute the trial run of the road diet. New Buffalo Township approved the trial road diet, but the City of New Buffalo did not approve it which is why it stops at the city limits when it was originally planned to run through parts of the city.

The road diet begins at the Michigan state line and runs to the city limits of New Buffalo. The 4-lane highway was reconfigured for the road diet and was reduced to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane.

The lanes were reconfigured the week before Memorial Day without any warning to the municipalities involved, so we were unable to warn residents that the new configuration would be starting this week.  Some time after that, MDOT  put up electronic signs warning of the new configuration and cones in the outside westbound lane to make people aware that the lane is closed.

The road diet was put in as a trial for the summer.  Due to all of the input from the public and concern for safety on US Highway 12, the New Buffalo Township Board adopted a resolution on July 8, 2020 to be sent to MDOT to inform them that they do not want the road diet implemented on US Highway 12 and would like it removed as soon as possible.  Township Supervisor Michelle Heit stated that it is ultimately up to MDOT whether they remove the road diet or not.

If you have comments about the road diet, please direct them to the following people at MDOT:

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)

Amy Lipset, MDOT SW Michigan Regional Planning Manager (269) 337-3900 lipseta@michigan.gov

Pete Pfeiffer, MDOT SW Region Manager (269) 849-1165 or (269) 375-2570  PfeifferP@michigan.gov

Jonathon Smith, MDOT  smithj29@michigan.gov

Stay safe out there!