Volume 91, Issue 25

Thursday, October 9, 1997

about face


Speed bumps in campus plan

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Gazette Staff

A recently proposed Campus Master Plan by Carleton University may illustrate a growing trend by university planners and administration to reduce automobile traffic and parking on campus.

Duncan Watt, VP-finance and administration at Carleton, said the university was looking for a comprehensive tool to use in future renovations on campus when they decided to implement their first-ever master plan.

Other reasons for the decision included the desire to connect campus to geographic sites such as the Rideau Canal and Rideau River and the creation of a more pedestrian-friendly campus while at the same time putting aside some land for commercial development.

"We want to have a more holistic view of campus," he said. The practice in the past has been to look at the parking lots and then decide on changes neglecting the impact on pedestrian paths.

This idea is not new at Western, which has had a Campus Master Plan since 1919, said the senior director of Physical Plant and Capital Planning Services Division Dave Riddell, adding its last modification was in 1994.

Western is trying to achieve a balanced movement system for all forms of transit across campus while gradually eliminating parking and moving it to the border of campus, Riddell said.

The foundation of this plan is based on a principle of a 10-minute walking radius from building to building, which Riddell said will also see the eventual elimination of parking lots surrounding campus to ensure the principle.

Before changes were made, Carleton called in many parties including John Braaksma, Carleton faculty member and president of J.P. Braaksma Associate Limited, a transportation planning and traffic engineering company.

Braaksma said Carleton initially approached him to ask for his guidance in conducting a parking study. "We soon realized, from this study, that parking was really only a symptom of a much larger problem," he said.

This in turn led to the examination of the whole campus with the aim of trying to reduce as much vehicular traffic penetrating into the centre of campus as possible, he said.

"The campus will still be accessible by vehicle and we want cars to come through but they have to behave," Braaksma said. This plan proposes to reduce lanes on certain roads from four down to two while integrating speed bumps, both of which will slow traffic down.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997