As a much-needed new MSU Federal Credit Union takes shape at the northeast corner of Mt. Hope Road and Farm Lane, one key ingredient is missing. Safe pedestrian/bicycle access from the east.
The mile-long stretch along Mt. Hope Road between Farm Lane and Hagadorn Road has no sidewalks or off-road bike path except immediately at the intersections themselves. This leaves nearly a mile of overly narrow bike lane (more of a partially paved shoulder – about two feet wide) or rough and tumble cross-country riding along a busy access/commuter route to the university and across an active CSX railroad line.
Given there are approximately one-thousand Michigan State University students living east of the new credit union in apartment and condominium complexes such as the Hamptons, the Chateau, Berrytree, and Glenwood, this means they must either drive to the credit union (wasteful for such a short trip) or risk life and limb while walking or bicycling. Those living further north along Hagadorn Road would have the option of walking/riding Service Drive to Farm Lane.
While I think a new credit union is needed in this vicinity, I also think more thought should be put into how students and area residents are going to get there, beyond the automobile. MSU’s efforts to “Be Spartan Green” must include more emphasis on the periphery of campus, as well as in its core. Hopefully, the addition of a much-needed sidewalk/bike path along this segment of Mt. Hope Road will come sooner versus later, so it won’t be precipitated by a totally unnecessary and predictable tragedy.