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Old 11-11-2013, 07:44 PM
 
1,582 posts, read 1,608,683 times
Reputation: 1637

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I really wish that Lansing and East Lansing became one city. If you look at the Southwest or even Columbus, OH, you will notice how much larger those cities are. Columbus is 223 square miles, Austin is 272 miles, Phoenix is 516 miles....

Lansing is only 36 square miles, Grand Rapids is only 45 square miles, and Kalamazoo is 25 square miles. If Grand Rapids merged with its immediate suburbs, it would become roughly the same size as Detroit in land mass. It would have a population of close to 400,000 to 500,000. This would really have a great affect on the psychology of the state. Secondly, if Lansing and East Lansing merged, and if Lansing developed more of its riverfront and historic area, the city could improve its image. Right now, it is just there..no real appeal that St. Paul, Madison, Columbus, or other state capitals have...even Ann Arbor for that matter. I would also like to see Kalamazoo and Portage merge together.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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I have two kids at MSU, one attended LCC for 1 year prior to MSU...so we did spend some time in Lansing. East Lansing is a great little town and the college vibe is everywhere. Once you cross over into Lansing, you feel very little college vibe, see no college kids walking the sidewalks and streets and no one flying green and white. No nice eateries close to the border. Even the housing and rental housing market just across the border into Lansing is totally different. The houses are 1/2 the price with so many in very poor repair. Look at the crime maps. Night and day difference - which I am sure drives down real estate, etc. Maybe closer to the capital building/downtown it is better but then again, that is very far away from the MSU campus.

Just recently we went into Lansing to buy some bikes for the kids at a nice used shop and the owner even warned us to keep our eyes open and be careful driving through some parts of the city. We were only a 5 minute drive into Lansing from the MSU campus. This was coming from someone who lives and works there. He told us he sent his daughter to live with her aunt during the week in a suburb because he felt she would get a better education and be safer.

So, all this talk about merging a city with a high crime rate and high unemployment rate with neighboring areas that have managed to keep a low crime rate and low unemployment rate is stupid. If the city of Lansing can't manage their own issues, why in the world would anyone trust them with more? Don't you think the issues would spread?

Let Lansing develop its riverfront and historic areas. Let Lansing improve it's image. Don't take East Lansing down for the ride.

As a parent, I would not let my kids attend MSU if the city of East Lansing was similar to the city of Lansing. I don't care how good of a school it was.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:36 PM
 
1,582 posts, read 1,608,683 times
Reputation: 1637
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Originally Posted by sunny719 View Post
I have two kids at MSU, one attended LCC for 1 year prior to MSU...so we did spend some time in Lansing. East Lansing is a great little town and the college vibe is everywhere. Once you cross over into Lansing, you feel very little college vibe, see no college kids walking the sidewalks and streets and no one flying green and white. No nice eateries close to the border. Even the housing and rental housing market just across the border into Lansing is totally different. The houses are 1/2 the price with so many in very poor repair. Look at the crime maps. Night and day difference - which I am sure drives down real estate, etc. Maybe closer to the capital building/downtown it is better but then again, that is very far away from the MSU campus.

Just recently we went into Lansing to buy some bikes for the kids at a nice used shop and the owner even warned us to keep our eyes open and be careful driving through some parts of the city. We were only a 5 minute drive into Lansing from the MSU campus. This was coming from someone who lives and works there. He told us he sent his daughter to live with her aunt during the week in a suburb because he felt she would get a better education and be safer.

So, all this talk about merging a city with a high crime rate and high unemployment rate with neighboring areas that have managed to keep a low crime rate and low unemployment rate is stupid. If the city of Lansing can't manage their own issues, why in the world would anyone trust them with more? Don't you think the issues would spread?

Let Lansing develop its riverfront and historic areas. Let Lansing improve it's image. Don't take East Lansing down for the ride.

As a parent, I would not let my kids attend MSU if the city of East Lansing was similar to the city of Lansing. I don't care how good of a school it was.
This is precisely why Michigan cities are failing! There is an utter toxic civic culture in Michigan which does not exist in the Sunbelt or in places like Denver or Louisville. Regional governance is the best and only solution for Michigan cities. East Lansing and MSU are there solely because it is next to Lansing, the capital. Without regional consolidation, good luck in our state trying to develop more healthy metropolitan areas..Columbus is one example. (242 square miles)

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/op...anted=all&_r=0
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Naperville, IL
185 posts, read 192,345 times
Reputation: 245
Just two points I want to make as a recent transplant to the area from the Chicago area:

1.) Crime/blight are not as widespread as some would claim, and coming form Chicago (lived (born) in city for 28 years, suburbs for 20+ years), it is not nearly as fearsome as many parts of Chicago, nor very widespread. Keep your wits about you and you'll be OK. Just like you must do in certain parts of Kzoo or Battle Creek or Jackson, from what I hear.

2.) A big difference between Madison and Lansing is that the quality of public schools in Lansing is much worse. So what happens, according to many of my colleagues at MSU... when an MSU student graduates, they typically start hanging out more at the Lansing bars downtown, or in Old Town, to get away from the student population (which they so recently were part of!). But then when they get married, and have kids, they move out of the Lansing/EL area to go where the schools are better (e.g., Haslett, Okemos). So you never get a permanent influx of young professionals with families, that can create the real bedrock for a vibrant, diverse, successful, and growing community. This is I think a key difference between Madison and Lansing.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:03 PM
 
1,582 posts, read 1,608,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePO View Post
Just two points I want to make as a recent transplant to the area from the Chicago area:

1.) Crime/blight are not as widespread as some would claim, and coming form Chicago (lived (born) in city for 28 years, suburbs for 20+ years), it is not nearly as fearsome as many parts of Chicago, nor very widespread. Keep your wits about you and you'll be OK. Just like you must do in certain parts of Kzoo or Battle Creek or Jackson, from what I hear.

2.) A big difference between Madison and Lansing is that the quality of public schools in Lansing is much worse. So what happens, according to many of my colleagues at MSU... when an MSU student graduates, they typically start hanging out more at the Lansing bars downtown, or in Old Town, to get away from the student population (which they so recently were part of!). But then when they get married, and have kids, they move out of the Lansing/EL area to go where the schools are better (e.g., Haslett, Okemos). So you never get a permanent influx of young professionals with families, that can create the real bedrock for a vibrant, diverse, successful, and growing community. This is I think a key difference between Madison and Lansing.
A lot of people in the suburbs are concerned about the quality of schools, crime, city services, and housing values. As Michigan cities are small, it lends itself to having a concentration of poor dangerous neighborhoods within its boundaries. However, imagine if the entire 400,000 metro region of Lansing became one administrative unit. Housing values will not go down. People will refer to its location or neighborhood in Lansing as opposed to a city. Taxes should go down as Michigan is one of the worse states when it comes to duplication of government services as school boards. Its a waste of money to have so many different departments and department managers. I again feel that Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Kalamazoo should consolidate with their suburbs. Especially Grand Rapids as Michigan really needs a new second city. Grand Rapids with a population of 400,000-600,000, 200 square miles, and at least one professional sports team would really shift Michigan's negative image.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,624,476 times
Reputation: 4404
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePO View Post
Just two points I want to make as a recent transplant to the area from the Chicago area:

1.) Crime/blight are not as widespread as some would claim, and coming form Chicago (lived (born) in city for 28 years, suburbs for 20+ years), it is not nearly as fearsome as many parts of Chicago, nor very widespread. Keep your wits about you and you'll be OK. Just like you must do in certain parts of Kzoo or Battle Creek or Jackson, from what I hear.

2.) A big difference between Madison and Lansing is that the quality of public schools in Lansing is much worse. So what happens, according to many of my colleagues at MSU... when an MSU student graduates, they typically start hanging out more at the Lansing bars downtown, or in Old Town, to get away from the student population (which they so recently were part of!). But then when they get married, and have kids, they move out of the Lansing/EL area to go where the schools are better (e.g., Haslett, Okemos). So you never get a permanent influx of young professionals with families, that can create the real bedrock for a vibrant, diverse, successful, and growing community. This is I think a key difference between Madison and Lansing.
I think one of the things that frustrates me the most is the Baby Boomer crowd that tends to get stuck on the issue of safety, to the point that they won't go within 5 miles of a place for their entire lives. Seems like a really sad and boring way to live.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Naperville, IL
185 posts, read 192,345 times
Reputation: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I think one of the things that frustrates me the most is the Baby Boomer crowd that tends to get stuck on the issue of safety, to the point that they won't go within 5 miles of a place for their entire lives. Seems like a really sad and boring way to live.
I think it has a lot to do with where you grew up... many of my friends/contemporaries (baby boomers, all) who grew up in Chicago like I did have no issues w/spending time in or visiting the more dodgy areas of an urban area in order to go see a band, shop at an eclectic store, eat in a neat ethnic restaurant. While they may still balk at living there if the schools are not up to par, they won't be paranoid about being there. But some of the folk I've met here, who have always lived in a suburban or rural area, really do have an outsized paranoia about these areas... and they seem to come in all age groups. So I think it's more of what you're used to/grew up with. Comfort zone mentality, I guess.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
3,093 posts, read 2,576,688 times
Reputation: 2373
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny719 View Post
I have two kids at MSU, one attended LCC for 1 year prior to MSU...so we did spend some time in Lansing. East Lansing is a great little town and the college vibe is everywhere. Once you cross over into Lansing, you feel very little college vibe, see no college kids walking the sidewalks and streets and no one flying green and white. No nice eateries close to the border. Even the housing and rental housing market just across the border into Lansing is totally different. The houses are 1/2 the price with so many in very poor repair. Look at the crime maps. Night and day difference - which I am sure drives down real estate, etc. Maybe closer to the capital building/downtown it is better but then again, that is very far away from the MSU campus.

Just recently we went into Lansing to buy some bikes for the kids at a nice used shop and the owner even warned us to keep our eyes open and be careful driving through some parts of the city. We were only a 5 minute drive into Lansing from the MSU campus. This was coming from someone who lives and works there. He told us he sent his daughter to live with her aunt during the week in a suburb because he felt she would get a better education and be safer.

So, all this talk about merging a city with a high crime rate and high unemployment rate with neighboring areas that have managed to keep a low crime rate and low unemployment rate is stupid. If the city of Lansing can't manage their own issues, why in the world would anyone trust them with more? Don't you think the issues would spread?

Let Lansing develop its riverfront and historic areas. Let Lansing improve it's image. Don't take East Lansing down for the ride.

As a parent, I would not let my kids attend MSU if the city of East Lansing was similar to the city of Lansing. I don't care how good of a school it was.
Obviously Lansing, being an "urban" place, has some less than desirable areas. But most of the places, while different than being a college town, aren't that bad, and there are things to do.
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