Almost a half-mile of one lane of southbound Bogue Street is now a two-way protected bicycle path separated from vehicles by a combination of surface-mounted curbs and break-away bollards as part of a temporary pilot project to determine if the separation in the high-traffic area improves pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
The protected bike lane is scheduled to stay up until the end of October, though it could become permanent if data shows increased safety.
Previously the stretch of Bogue Street from Grand River Avenue to the MSU River Trail involved bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles converging at the same point.
"The hope is the dedicated path will encourage bicyclists to use the lane instead of the sidewalk as approximately 90% of bicycle crashes on campus happen on sidewalks," a university release said.
Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MSU Executive Vice President of Administration Satish Udpa and City of East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows all spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the bike lane.
"Perhaps this can become a new standard for us,” Stanley said. “It is also an excellent example of the city and university working together to benefit students, area residents and MSU employees.”
Data from traffic cameras and incident reports will be reviewed for amount of the bicycle riders and if any wrecks occur.
“Our community is constantly seeking safe, sustainable transportation options and the new area housing developments will increase the demand,” Meadows said.
Michigan State is a a silver-level Bike Friendly University, according to the League of American Bicyclists. MSU offers 20.5 miles of on-street bicycle lanes, two secure bike parking facilities and eight do-it-yourself repair and air stations.
The university hosts a bike shop in Bessey Hall that sells, rents and repairs bicycles. Other local bicycle businesses include Evergreen Cycles and Repair and Velocipede Peddler on East Grand River Avenue and The Bike Shop on M.A.C. Avenue.
“This is the perfect time to try something brand new and a first for mid-Michigan,” Meadows said.