Plans to expand connectivity through non-motorized pathways are taking shape in Green Oak Township; however a lack of support from residents for one proposed link has officials shifting gears.
The township is currently constructing a non-motorized path from the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail in Hamburg Township east to US-23 and Whitmore Lake Road along M-36, and providing a path along Lemen Road to connect to Northfield Township. The municipality’s Non-Motorized Pathways Plan included a proposal for a path along the east side of US-23, or Fieldcrest Drive. But Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles says residents that live on Fieldcrest were not willing to grant the township easements for their property.
St. Charles says, “What happened was we have no support from the neighbors down there. They absolutely do not want it in their front yards. Without those easements, we’re dead in the water.” St. Charles tells WHMI he understands the residents’ reluctance to the easements and agrees with them, stating that along with the lacking road right-of-way, most of their houses sit close to the road which means not only do they experience traffic along Fieldcrest, but also northbound traffic merging onto US-23. St. Charles says the township had to ask, but respects their decision so they’re moving forward with a different plan.
Officials still wanted to create a link from M-36 to where the trail ends at Silver Lake Road and St. Charles notes there is a significant amount of vacant land for sale along the west side of Whitmore Lake Road. He says officials see the possibility of creating pathways from M-36 up to Spicer Road, from there north to Winans Lake Road and, ultimately, to Silver Lake Road. St. Charles admits the new path “will take some work”, but is glad it’s at least identified as a route on the plan.
The change in plans required the Board of Trustees’ approval of a motion, which they unanimously voted to support at a recent meeting. The update to the plan will now show the proposed pathway on Whitmore Lake Road between M-36 and Silver Lake Road, and approves maintaining the proposed connections under US-23 at Silver Lake Road and M-36.