STARKVILLE, Miss.— Mississippi State University is enhancing pedestrian safety by reducing vehicle traffic on roadways at the center of campus.
Over the summer, MSU personnel will be installing new gates to limit vehicular traffic on Hardy Road and President’s Circle, expanding the “pedestrian core” of campus in line with the university’s master plan. Roadways and parking areas inside the pedestrian-focused corridor will be accessible only to faculty and staff with gated parking permits, vendors with parking permits, and SMART transit buses.
New roadways that opened this year will allow for traffic to flow further away from the core of campus and are part of two new infrastructure investments that can facilitate North-South and East-West traffic on campus. Bulldog Way will connect Blackjack Road and East Lee Boulevard, while Famous Maroon Band Street connects Hardy Road and Stone Boulevard.
The expanded pedestrian core now will encompass Hardy Street from the Lee Boulevard intersection to north of Famous Maroon Band Street; President’s Circle from the west side of Allen Hall to just east of the Hardy and Morrill Road intersection; and Magruder Street from President’s Circle to north of Famous Maroon Band Street, in addition to all other roads and parking lots that are currently gated. The changes will go into effect by the beginning of the fall semester, with gates closed between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday-Friday.
“These changes will greatly enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists on campus,” said MSU Executive Director of Transportation Jeremiah Dumas. “We see approximately 900 pedestrian crossings per hour just at the intersection of Magruder Street and President’s Circle, and we have five different pedestrian crossings on Hardy Road just between Morrill and Lee. Reducing the number of vehicles in these areas helps carry out the university’s plan to create a more pedestrian-friendly center of campus. Additionally, this will make our SMART routes more efficient and consistent for the thousands of students and community members that utilize our transportation services on and off campus.”
The changes will not impact student commuter and residential parking areas. Staff parking areas next to Hand Lab, on East Lee Boulevard before the current gate, and on Magruder Street that were previously not part of gated parking will now be gated. Additionally, new gated parking spaces are under construction this summer between the Rula Engineering and Science Complex and the new music building.
Faculty and staff with gated parking will no longer be assigned to specific lots or areas, but will instead have access to any staff parking lots in the new gated areas. Dumas encouraged any faculty or staff without gated parking that wish to switch to the gated area to go ahead and join the gated parking waitlist by accessing MSU Parking and Transit Services’ customer portal at www.myparking.msstate.edu.