Motorists be mindful: MSU campus roadway changes take effect this week

A SMART bus drives down Hardy Road on a spring day.
Beginning Tuesday [Aug. 9], portions of Hardy Road and President’s Circle will be accessible only to faculty and staff with gated parking permits, vendors with parking permits, and SMART transit buses. (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—As Mississippi State University prepares for the start of the fall semester, motorists on campus are urged to utilize caution and patience as new traffic changes take effect.

Beginning Tuesday [Aug. 9], new gates will limit vehicular traffic on Hardy Road and President’s Circle, a move that increases pedestrian safety in the center of campus. Roadways and parking areas inside the pedestrian-focused corridor will be accessible only to faculty and staff with gated parking permits, vendors with parking permits, and SMART transit buses.

Don Zant, MSU vice president for finance and administration, said campus master plans going back nearly 60 years have shown the closure of roads around the core of campus. New infrastructure investments, including Famous Maroon Band Street and Bulldog Way, on the south and east sides of campus, respectively, allow for motorists to navigate campus while avoiding the areas with high levels of pedestrian activity.

“For years we have been building the needed road infrastructure so that the same level of service, if not more, can be handled outside of the core,” Zant said. “With campus growth, including the growth of student housing east of campus, we have seen a significant increase in pedestrian and bicycle travel on the eastern side of our campus. Our new road infrastructure provides an increased level of service to motorists without pedestrian conflicts and allows us to realize our long-held plans to increase safety in our core by removing high volumes of traffic.”

The expanded pedestrian core now encompasses Hardy Street from the Lee Boulevard intersection to north of Famous Maroon Band Street; President’s Circle from the west side of Allen Hall to just east of the Hardy and Morrill Road intersection; and Magruder Street from President’s Circle to north of Famous Maroon Band Street, in addition to all other roads and parking lots that are currently gated. Gates will be closed between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday-Friday.

A parking map detailing the gated parking areas on campus beginning Tuesday
Beginning Tuesday, the roadways highlighted in red will only be accessible to vehicles with gated parking permits and SMART transit buses. Click here to view the full 2022-23 campus parking map

Jeremiah Dumas, MSU executive director of transportation, said motorists should keep these changes in mind when coming to campus, especially in the early days of the fall semester when traffic can be at its heaviest on campus.

“While we are eliminating through access on a few interior roads, new roads have been built on the outskirts of campus that are designed to handle a higher level of traffic volumes while providing access to the parking areas around the core of campus,” Dumas said. “Famous Maroon Band Street on the south side of campus replaces the east-west connection of Bully and President’s Circle, while the newly completed Bulldog Way on the east side of campus replaces the north-south connection of Hardy.”

The roadway changes will have minimal impacts on student commuter and residential parking lots. The new parking garage on Bailey Howell Drive, adjacent to Nusz Hall, is now open for metered parking. Click here to view a complete parking map for the 2022-23 academic year.

For more on MSU Parking and Transit Services, visit

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Monday, August 8, 2022 - 8:30 am