My plan was to walk for 2-3 hours and complete as much of the west side as possible. Yesterday I walked a mile in this Old Oakland Neighborhood. This was my fourth walk in this area. I had really hoped to have all the “north of 496” streets done by now, but that hasn’t been the case. This is my last section though and today was going to get most of it done-except I didn’t. I think today was the first time I really felt I might not get this project done by October 1. When I added up yesterday’s miles to the total I found I was just over 350. If there are a total of 410 miles of streets in Lansing then I should have 60 left. The only problem is that when I walk, I am often re-walking streets I’ve already walked before to get to the places I haven’t walked yet. How many miles of re-walks do I have? I don’t know. Therein lies the problem. I might have only 60 more miles, but I might have more like 80! Even 80, though, are doable. If I walk 6 miles in 2 hours, then I would need to walk 13 times, roughly. We still have 30 days until the gallery opening. That’s less than half. If I walk 6 miles every 2 days I can walk 80 miles! Today’s walk was supposed to be a 6 mile walk. Unfortunately my body didn’t cooperate. I was only able to walk about 2.6 miles before a hunt for a restroom began. I had hoped the West Side Park would be unlocked but it was not. I would love to say that this hasn’t happened to me before while walking, but I can’t. In fact finding a rest room in Lansing is almost impossible. The Lansing City Market is really the only public restroom on the entire river trail. I’m really hoping that providing awareness for lack of city restrooms doesn’t become the legacy of this project. I suppose I could be known for worse things!
Decorative Flowers at Padnos
Unused rail stop on Sunset
Blocked off open field owned by BWL
My Walk today
I was ready to proclaim domination over the east side of Lansing. I was rechecking my map to guarantee I had in fact walked most of the eastern side of Lansing when I saw it. I checked again. I pulled out another map. It was on there too. I opened Google Maps. It must be true now. There was a section on the eastern side of 127, my ultimate eastern edge boundary guide line, that was in, without a doubt, part of Lansing. It was positioned east of 127, north of Grand River and west of Coolidge. I don’t know how I skipped over it! On my way into town for Lunch with a Purpose I stopped at the old Holiday Lanes bowling alley (it’s being renovated) on Grand River and headed to this almost East Lansing section.
Once within the residential part of this neighborhood, it was obvious that this neighborhood was at one point in time the conjoined twin sister of Groesbeck. The homes are very similar in style with large colonials with pillars or the typical split level built over a two car garage. As with the Groesbeck area, a section of this neighborhood also pays for the state’s advancement by having a 70 mph highway in its backyard. This side didn’t get the 12 foot grey colored walls like the other side of 127. It’s a quaint little neighborhood, yet quiet it’s not. This surgical separation that allowed US 127 to run through the middle of a decent neighborhood abscised this east side as the smaller, less protected, more isolated section . For some the isolation from most of the city creates an almost retreat feeling. Yards grow right up to the road as there are no sidewalks in this section. However, very few cars passed me while I walked in the road. The lack of sidewalk wasn’t really a concern until I walked out onto the very busy Coolidge Rd; the Lansing side had no sidewalks. Just across the street, on the East Lansing side, a utility worker spent the entire time I walked cleaning and edging the sidewalk. There was a worn patch in the grass where I walked that showed evidence that I wasn’t the only walker on this path. It might have been those trying to get to the bus stop just north of Grand River.
Slipping back onto the inner neighborhood streets I again noticed how undisturbed this area looked. In this section the trees were gloriously over grown and provided a wonderful canopy, unlike many city street trees that have been ruined by recent road and sewer repairs deeper in the heart of Lansing.
So this is the eastern edge of Lansing and I walked it, finally! Now that I have sought out this section I have almost walked all the east section bordering the eastern edge to Clemens and south to 496. There is one little section south of Kalamazoo and north of 496 I haven’t completed yet, but I read a great article about the Land Bank offering parcels of land in this area for Urban Gardens. I think I’ll check that out soon!