East Lansing community discusses solutions for “the most dangerous intersection” in Ingham County

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The East Lansing community is discussing a plan introduced by the East Lansing Transportation Commission to improve safety at the most dangerous intersection in Ingham County, located on Hagadorn Road from Grand River Avenue to Burcham Drive. The plan proposed consideration of a four to three-lane conversion, a bike lane, and two pedestrian crossings. 

This intersection has seen 176 crashes from 2017 to 2019 alone. Due to its overflowing traffic and not enough room for bikers and pedestrian travel, citizens have raised concerns on the area.

Community resident John Wilkerson said, “We’re realizing that it’s not as safe as it was intended to be since there’s no refuge for pedestrians when crossing.” 

On Jan. 23, citizens gathered at East Lansing Community Center to hear multiple topics before the city council including a revisitation of a plan introduced by the East Lansing Transportation Commission in a meeting held on Dec. 4, 2023. 

Some have emphasized the need for inclusivity towards pedestrians and those without motor vehicles. 

With the intersection being right by MSU’s campus, crashes are more prone to students who travel on sidewalks by foot and bike at higher speeds. 

“College students are riding their bikes around 20mph and there are many different types of devices now,”  said Tim Potter, Tri County Bike Association advocate and committee member. 

“Adding a protected bike lane makes it safer and more attractive to cyclists instead of using the sidewalk,” he added.

Only 50.8% of East Lansing residents drive to work. With 13.8% working from home, that leaves 35.4% finding another form of transportation; 5.7% of them bike and 17.9% walk.



Community member Jen Rosa spoke about her biking and walking more as she’s gotten older and how important it is that safe access for all modes of transportation is considered for residents when making infrastructure investments. Like Rosa, some choose to bike when owning a car, however, other residents don’t have this opportunity. 

League of Michigan Bicyclists Communications and Advocacy Director Matthew Penniman said, “this will definitely make getting to different sides of campus easier for those without a car. I think this is a calmer, less stressful and safer solution.”

East Lansing Transportation Commission member Julie Rojeski expressed gratitude for council members’ recognition of the plan. Rojeski stated that though public input is critical, the project is widely driven by the overall need of improving road safety.

This is represented through the high accident data from the intersection. The idea comes from East Lansing’s 2011 Non-Motorized Transporation Plan, noting that this is “the most dangerous intersection in the city”. 

Late last year, the public had oppositions towards the plan, but revisions have made majority of the community hopeful for what’s to come. Though the East Lansing City Council is looking to study traffic on a larger scale, they have approved this motion for reconfiguration.  

With the proposed plan, pedestrian, biker and car traffic will all have a more functional means of transportation. 

“Now we’re creating a space that’s safer and demarcated for them to do it,” said Transportation Commission member Dana Booms.

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