Parking To Be Eliminated On North Eagleville Road
In an effort to improve safety on one of the busiest roads on campus, plans to eliminate parking on North Eagleville Road in the fall are moving forward.
"The issue is safety, pure and simple," says Dale Dreyfuss, vice president for business and administration. "We are concerned about the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, because there is too much foot traffic on that street and far too many blind spots."
North Eagleville Road shares the dual distinction of being one of the main entry points to the Storrs campus, and also one of the main crossings for students walking from three large residential complexes to the academic core. Many people driving on campus have faced close calls when driving on the road, as students dart out from between parked cars.
Major Ronald Blicher says the UConn Police Department has investigated 72 motor vehicle accidents on the road since Jan. 1, 2003. Officers also have made more than 900 vehicle stops on the road.
In effect Monday through Saturday, the parking ban will eliminate about 120 spaces, says Dreyfuss. To compensate for the lost spaces, two new parking areas close to North Eagleville Road will be constructed, one at the intersection of Horsebarn Hill and Gurleyville roads, and another off North Hillside Road, across from the warehouse and below the Northwest residence hall complex. Dreyfuss says F-Lot, located behind the physical plant, is under-utilized and also has spaces available.
Dreyfuss says UConn officials and the Parking Advisory Committee have discussed a parking ban on the road for several years. He says the police and fire departments, Department of Residential Life, and UConn administrators all agree with the decision.
Additionally, says Karla Fox, chair of the Parking Advisory Committee, officials will discuss eliminating some of the nine crosswalks that currently exist between the intersection of North Eagleville and Glenbrook roads, where on-street parking begins, and the traffic light between Northwest residential complex and the Edward V. Gant Science Complex. She added that discussions also would occur regarding whether to erect barriers to prevent students from crossing the street where crosswalks do not exist, and adding speed bumps or another device to slow car and truck traffic.
Fox said Barbara Chance, of Chance Management, is considering a range of options for the road, as well as ways to decrease pedestrian-vehicle conflicts on Hillside Road. Chance, a parking and traffic consultant, has been working with the University since 1995, when the University's Master Planning Committee was formed to develop strategies for UConn 2000 construction and related activities. Chance has long maintained there are too many conflicts between people and cars on campus.