The Case of the Missing Walk Sign

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Alice Dreger for ELi

Entrance to The Abbot apartments shown on Feb. 4, 2021. Expect a walk sign on the corner sometime in the next few months.

People have been asking: Why is there no walk sign across Abbot Road at that street’s southwest corner with Albert Avenue – where the apartments’ entrance for The Abbot is located?

The sign that had been there before The Abbot’s construction was removed in conjunction with the public infrastructure changes undertaken as part of that project. The roadway of Albert Ave. was shifted south, necessitating the previous pole’s removal. If the pole had been left there, it would now be in the middle of the street.

According to Nicole McPherson, Deputy Director of East Lansing’s Department of Public Works, a new pole with a walk sign is expected, but “There have been delays in finalizing the design for the signal as the original layout did not work due to existing utilities. The developer [of The Abbot] is scheduled to submit the final plans by early next week. The installation of the traffic signal is scheduled to start in April and will be completed in May.” 

She added that, “In the interim, the developer will be closing the south crosswalk” that goes across Abbot Road, “until the signal is installed.”

That will mean that anyone wanting to cross Abbot Road in that area will have to use the north crosswalk, from Sharp Park to the Dublin Square side of the street.

We checked in with The Abbot’s developer, Chris Oakley of Convexity Properties, to see if they’re on the same page with the City. They are, but Oakley provided a little more detail.

“Delays have been caused for a number of reasons including the necessity of relocating the electrical feed, signal controller and final pole locations,” said Oakley, and the design of all this is complicated by the fact that MSUFCU is expected to begin construction of a new office building across Albert Avenue soon.

What happens on the south side of Albert Avenue – on the side that holds The Abbot – depends on what’s going to happen on the north side of Albert Avenue – the side that, at least in theory, will soon see the building of a new MSUFCU office tower.

Installation of a walk sign on the south side of Albert Ave. at Abbot Rd. has been delayed due to questions about planned construction on the north side of Albert Ave. at parking lot 4, next to Dublin Square.

Said Oakley, “The new electrical feed and controller locations are solely related to the Parking Lot 4 development” – that is, the MSUFCU project.

The start of the MSUFCU project has been delayed for months because of objections from the owners of Dublin Square to the credit union’s construction plans. At a recent meeting of East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA), City staff hinted at trying to come up with some work-around to get that project into gear. (Read more.)

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