Osborn Drive future: No parking during work hours

Workers pour sidewalk on Osborn Drive

Construction workers pour tinted cement into a wider sidewalk along Osborn Drive. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Several pilot projects to reduce congestion and improve safety on Osborn Drive will begin in August. Unlike the sidewalk widening currently under way, these projects are very much in the testing stages.

"We have identified several recommendations for immediately reducing Osborn congestion and improving safety," said Cathy Brown, assistant director for planning in facilities planning and management. "We'll evaluate their effectiveness over the next few months and go from there."

No parking

Several dozen parked cars will be conspicuously absent from the north side of Osborn in mid-August. On-street parking will be prohibited during work hours Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., when the access control gates are down.

Drivers who have medical parking permits will need to park in other accessible spaces on campus. Vendors, such as those delivering food and packages or providing other services, should park in designated vendor spaces in lots accessed from Pammel Drive.

During summer weekdays, while the gates remain open, drivers with appropriate permits can park along Osborn. The street also will be available for open parking after 5 p.m.during the week and on weekends.

Sidewalk off limits to bicyclists

University policy already prohibits bicyclists from riding on sidewalks. That policy will be reinforced along Osborn in a program dubbed "Walk Your Wheels."

"If they're riding, bicyclists should stay in the street," Brown said. "If they're walking their bikes, the sidewalks are fine."

She added that signs calling on drivers to share the road will be posted along Osborn.

Fewer bus stops

Three CyRide bus stops will be "decommissioned" -- covered with bags, not actually removed -- along Osborn. Key bus stops will remain near the Armory, Gilman and Kildee halls.  A fourth stop at Science Hall will serve only the Orange circulator route.

Diverting large delivery vehicles

Officials still are working out details of a plan to keep large over-the-road vehicles, like commercial delivery trucks, off Osborn during peak periods, Brown said. The plans call for rerouting deliveries of Osborn-bound packages and equipment to Central Stores.

Traffic to lab school, parking lot 43

Parents who are taking children to and from the Child Development Laboratory School in the Palmer Building and parking lot 43 permit holders must travel along Osborn. Officials urge those who are coming from the east to spend a little less time on the busy road by turning south on Farm House Lane and accessing the school through lot 43 on the south side of Bessey Hall.

Parking meter removal

The six parking meters along Morrill Road in the Beardshear Hall area will be replaced with medical, departmental, and vendor parking. Valid parking permits will be required in those spots.

Gated access changes

An effort is under way to reduce traffic traveling through the gates at each end of Osborn Drive, Brown said. To that end:

  • Most gate card holders will be required to renew their cards annually. The renewal process is scheduled to begin in August; email notifications will be sent. Gate card holders who have valid permits to park within the gated area will not be required to renew annually.
  • When the gates are down (closed), those seeking access must have a valid medical, departmental, vendor or specific permit to park within the gated area.
  • For those who don't have valid permits within the gated area, pickups and drop-offs must occur before 7:30 a.m. or after 5 p.m. when the gates are open.
  • The CyRide Orange circulation route will continue to operate frequently and is free for anyone wanting to travel around the campus.
Worker smooths new sidewalk along Osborn Drive

Construction worker John Freeman smooths cement into the new sidewalk in front of Science I. Photo by Christopher Gannon