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Petoskey News Review

Harbor Springs residents have speed, safety concerns about potential M-119 reroute

By Karly Graham, The Petoskey News-Review,


HARBOR SPRINGS — Thursday night, Harbor Springs residents filed into City Hall and logged onto Zoom to provide feedback about the Michigan Department of Transportation's plan to reroute M-119.

Throughout the meeting, resident after resident explained why they weren't in support of the highway moving away from the city’s main strip.

The proposed route would have M-119 travel through Lake Street — a residential road — instead of along West Bluff Drive and into Main Street.

From property values to safety concerns, residents listed their worries, including a fear the state is trying to make the city foot the bill of expensive infrastructure upgrades.

During a Feb. 20 meeting, city manager Victor Sinadinoski explained the switch would be mainly technical in terms of jurisdiction and who'd be running each road.

If the city moves forward with the project, it would benefit from having more control over traffic and speeds though the downtown area, plus the ability to adjust visibility for uptown parks. But the switch would mean less local control over the speeds and traffic on Lake Street.

On the current route, the drainage along M-119 is outdated — if the switch is made, fixing the drainage will become the city’s responsibility.

Last week's meeting was held for staff members to hear what the community is thinking. Information from the meeting, along with survey results and comments and input from the Harbor Springs Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority will be taken into consideration and reported to the city council.

Residents on Lake Street also said they were against the switch, with some saying they wouldn't have purchased their houses if they were located on a highway.

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"I don’t think MDOT wants to force this on the community,” Sinadinoski said during Thursday's meeting. “What I think is they want to see if there is an aptitude for it, and that’s what we’re here tonight to determine.”

The Harbor Springs Planning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16. The next city council meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, March 20.

As of Thursday, the city has received about 250 survey responses. The survey can be taken at

— Contact reporter Karly Graham Follow her on Twitter at@KarlyGrahamJRN.

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