FLINT TWP. — Due to a route change, the township board postponed its approval of using township roads for the Bikes on the Bricks annual 40-mile police-escorted motorcycle ride for charity on September 12.
The proposed route would bring thousands of riders through the township twice. Actually, it is the same route as last year.
As it has for many years, the ride begins at Vehicle City Harley-Davidson on Austin Parkway at Miller Road. Until last year, the route proceeded north on Austin Parkway to Hogarth Avenue, west to Utley Road, north to Arlene/Augusta streets, west to Graham Road, north to West Court Street, west to Elms Road, north to Mt. Morris then east back through other jurisdictions to the main event in downtown Flint.
Last year, the route changed after Elms Road, instead heading west through Flushing, then south through Clayton Township and Swartz Creek, then east on Miller Road to Bristol Road to South Saginaw Street in Burton before proceeding north to downtown Flint festivities.
Township Police Chief George Sippert raised the question this year about impact on traffic near Bishop International Airport on Bristol Road. It could take as long as 20 minutes for all the bikes to pass through the area, he said.
“When they are going through there, the airport parking lot will be shut down,’’ Chief Sippert said. “That might be5168a concern.S. SAGINAW(Bishop)RD., FLINT,is a primaryMI transit in Genesee County. will48507 hub This be shutting it down for quite a while.”
The Township Board voted 5-2 to postpone its approval of the route until Chief Sippert could consult with airport officials about any concerns.
Treasurer Marsha Binelli was one of two trustees who voted against postponement, saying she would prefer to make the airport’s consent a contingency to the board’s approval. Clerk Kim Courts also voted against postponement.
In past years, Flint Township officials have placed only one condition on its approval of the bike route. That was for Bikes’ organizers to notify residents and businesses on affected township streets of the date and time of the ride so they can plan accordingly for traffic delays and congestion while the motorcyclists pass through.
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said the route application would be placed on the agenda for the next board meeting on August 17. Ultimately, the application to use the roads must go through the Genesee County Road Commission.
Conditions imposed by the road commission permit department include that the township “assume all responsibility for traffic control and detours where the use of police vehicles and personnel may be required.”
Chief Sippert said his officers in patrol cars assist with blocking off roads while the procession passes through. The township force does not own motorcycles so the police escort is provided by other jurisdictions, which come from all over the state.