• Evan Jones

30-minute free parking will be offered during July

Festival-goers walk through an abstract art installation at the intersection of Albert Avenue and Charles Street at the East Lansing Art Festival on May 18, 2019. Matt Zubik | The State News


A pilot program initiated by the City of East Lansing will provide 30-minute free parking in July. The program will apply to the Grove Street Garage, M.A.C. Avenue Garage, Charles Street Garage, Division Street Garage and the Bailey lot.

The program was introduced at the East Lansing City Council June 11 discussion-only meeting.

Planning, Building, and Development Director Tim Dempsey recommended the city initiate the policy for the month of July.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work towards enhancing the business climate downtown during construction,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said a pilot program is a way to encourage more residents to visit downtown.

“It has a fairly significant financial impact if you look at over the course of a fiscal year,” he said.

City Manager George Lahanas said the timing is perfect because people have an opportunity to see the city’s progress with new developments.

One motivation for the policy is to limit on-street parking in areas where roadways are too narrow for safe, two-way vehicular travel.

Traffic orders considered alongside the policy include eliminating on-street parking on seven streets throughout the city with a curb, gutter and width less than 24 feet, as well as a one-sided parking restriction in parts of the Bailey Neighborhood.

Residents are encouraged to reach out to Department of Public Works Design Engineer Andrew Bisaha for additional questions about implementation information.

Feedback on the pilot program can be directed to the city directly through an online comment form.

“With the ongoing construction and the summer population decline that comes with being a college town, this is a time of year when downtown businesses can really use some extra support and patronage," East Lansing Parking Administrator Caleb Sharrow said in a press release.