Road closures and bus detours for Friday's Homecoming Parade
Update 4:49 p.m.: CATA has provided a list of the bus detours on their website. In addition, the bus detours will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday October 20 instead of at 4:45 p.m. as stated previously.
Homecoming: that exciting time of year when the leaves turn gold, the streetlamps turn green, and all of campus comes together for a fun-filled festival to celebrate our collective Spartanhood. There’s candy, there’s parties and there’s the all-important Homecoming Parade.
The excitement of the Homecoming Parade comes the inevitable other side of the celebratory coin: road closures. Large parts of downtown East Lansing will be either closed off entirely or closed to through traffic throughout the day of the parade.
Along the parade route itself, Abbot Road between Oxford Road-Whitehills Drive and Grand River Avenue will be closed at various times, and Grand River between Abbot and Collingwood Drive and Farm Lane will be closed from 5:30 to 7:15pm. Other streets on the north side of East Lansing near the Hannah Community Center will be closed earlier in the day to act as a staging area for the parade.
Grand River between Harrison and Hagadorn Roads will be closed to through traffic, in addition to some streets in downtown East Lansing. The parade, marshalled by 2011 MSU alumnus and YouTube personality Tyler Oakley, will begin at the intersection of Abbot Road and Burcham Drive, near the Hannah Community Center. The route will travel down Abbot, then turn onto Grand River Avenue headed east before entering MSU’s campus at Farm Lane.
“We’re closing down the same roads we have in the past for the parade,” East Lansing Police Department Lt. Chad Connelly said. “Obviously with people commuting and whatnot it can be a challenge.”
The full list of East Lansing road closures can be found on the city’s website or in the map below.
Road closures and bus route changes will be something to be aware of for students trying to get around campus Friday night. According to CATA Director of Marketing Laurie Robison, multiple bus lines will switch to alternate routes. Route 33, which runs from MSU Union to South Neighborhood, will stop running altogether at 5:30 p.m. instead of its usual end time of 7:00 p.m. Buses switching to alternate routes will begin detour service at 5:30 p.m. and resume normal service at approximately 8:00 p.m. The bus routes affected are routes 1, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 39.
For ELPD, safety is paramount for this Friday’s parade.
“We’re going to have multiple officers that are out and about on the streets,” Connelly said. “At the different intersections there will be barricading done, and different things to protect people in the parade, and protect people that are watching the parade and enjoying the festivities.”
Security is especially significant in light of last week’s threats against MSU athletic events mailed in to MSUPD and ELPD.
“That’s something that obviously we’re keeping in mind and that we’re planning for as far as to enhance and increase safety, we’ve taken some additional steps,” Connelly said. “There’ll be some different types of barricading systems and things like that. But overall we’re planning to have the parade route run as normal. There’ll be an increased presence of law enforcement officers but nothing out of the general norm.”
Connelly recommends that parade-goers stay vigilant, and keep their eyes out for unusual behavior. He says law enforcement officers will be visible and numerous during the festivities, and unusual or suspicious activity should be brought to the attention of the proper authorities.
But most importantly, the parade is about fun.
“We ask that people are having a good time and enjoying the parade,” Connelly says. “It’s always a good family event with lots of candy for the kids and things like that.”