Time run's out on meter before owner can return to pay again.

Downtown parking rates subject to a July 1 review

Whether it be a regular weekday or a special event like this most recent St. Patrick’s Day, parking in downtown has proven to be affordable and plentiful. With the implementation of pay -y-plate parking meters in recent years, by the Lansing Parking Services Department, the city continues to make an effort to simplify parking for citizens while effectively eliminating the old-school coin meters. Aside from the high-tech improvements a significant amount of parking lots and garages that offer convenient and economical options. “At times it can be a bit difficult finding a parking spot at one of the meters, but there are also parking lots available with plenty of spaces,” said Mrs. L. Vinson, a state employee.” “I work downtown and pay a monthly fee to have designated parking in a lot with in and out privileges.”

However good the prices or availability may be, there is still one problem that persists.

On Feb. 20 2017, a small group begins to gather outside of City Rescue Mission of Lansing. 
Photo by Taylor Skelton

Where do the homeless go in Holt and Delhi Township?

Sarah Keller became homeless after three months of living in Holt. According to Keller, she moved her family there from Grand Rapids because she received a job offer that she could not pass up. After working at the job for two months, they let her go because they were making cuts. “I was devastated. I was not in a contract so they could fire me whenever they wanted but I figured since they came looking for me and offered me the job I had some job security,” Keller said. Keller and her family had to move to The City Rescue Mission of Lansing for a few weeks until she was able to find another job.

A pair of Lansing Township Police cars sit in the parking lot of the Lansing Township Police Department on Michigan Ave. First responders in Lansing Township can be dispatched to emergencies in surrounding jurisdictions outside the township. Photo by Casey Harrison.

Lansing Township first responders, among others in Lansing area, respond to calls outside jurisdiction

Like the other first responders in the greater-Lansing area, Lansing Township Police Officer Matt Birr’s daily routine is different from others in his field of work. The 10-year veteran can spend his 12-hour shift doing a number of things; from patrolling the morning traffic at Waverly East Intermediate School and other surrounding areas in the township, or handling penny thefts and other reports of mischievous behavior to intervening with calls about domestic abuse. “The days tend to go by pretty fast,” Birr said. And due to the fragmentation of Lansing Township, many of the station’s calls from the dispatch center aren’t actually cases where the Lansing Township Police Department has jurisdiction. The east and west sides of the township sandwich the city of Lansing, and the township is just blocks away from Clinton and Eaton counties.

Percent of students that take and pass their AP tests in Lansing public high schools, and their college readiness index score according to U.S. News

Lansing public high schools struggling to make students college-ready

The Lansing Public School District has gained an outstanding reputation for their high schools from some. But others say the academics are as poor as Detroit Public Schools. Michigan State University academic advisor David Williams has worked in East Lansing for over 5 years, and currently has children in high school. Due to the reputation of the high schools in the Lansing area Williams sends all three of his kids to Okemos High School. Williams said the academics and environment of some public high schools isn’t something that allows students to grow and progress positively academically.

Lansing public school buses line up outside of Eastern High School on March 15, 2016. Photo by Taylor Skelton

‘It is an option that I wish more parents would explore:’ Homeschool community succeeds in Lansing

 

About 24 years ago, Kim Winter and her husband started Lansing’s largest homeschool support group, Christian Home Educators’ Support System (CHESS). Years later the organization has grown to serve nearly 300 homeschooling families in the greater Lansing area. CHESS focuses on helping parents and training them to be better teachers for their children. Additionally, they provide co-op meetings and enrichment days for students. With a home school community like Lansing’s, Winter says there are frequent opportunities for students to engage with each other.

The golf course is now used for low impact recreational purposes for the township.
Photo by Madison Job

No signs of re-development for Lansing Township’s Waverly Golf Course

Currently, there are no plans underway showing signs of re-development for the now-empty lot that was once the Waverly Golf Course. Due to a zoning moratorium expiring in Lansing Township, the 120-acre property owned by the City of Lansing closed in 2007. The lot is now a “single-family residential area,” according to Sam Schultz, who is the township planner in Lansing Township. “Currently, it is used as recreation space and it would have to be re-zoned if anything was to be done,” Schultz said. “If zoning was re-done, it could be used for only the options under the township ordinances which involve low resident intensity like churches or public parks and playgrounds.”

Holly Madill who is the outreach specialist for the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute and Planning & Zoning Center provided information on zoning moratoriums from the Michigan State University Extension.