Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

03-29-06

Contact:

Cathy Brown, Facilities Planning & Management, (515) 294-6001

Meetings scheduled to discuss pedestrian-motorist experiences on ISU campus

AMES, Iowa -- Would life behind the wheel, or crossing the road on foot, be better if Pammel Drive were a three-lane road (two driving lanes and a turn lane in the middle)? This is an idea that might be proffered as pedestrian crosswalks at Iowa State go through modifications.

Facilities Planning and Management (FP&M) is leading efforts to enhance the pedestrian-motorist experience on campus. As part of those efforts, there will be a series of open forums for faculty, staff and students to give ideas and perspectives about their pedestrian-motorist experiences on campus (see dates at right).

There also is a Web site where members of the campus and surrounding community can go to read about potential changes and give input (www.fpm.iastate.edu/walk/).

Open forum

Each open forum will start with a 10-minute presentation summarizing a recent report done by the Iowa State University Center for Transportation Research and Education (CTRE). CTRE staff studied and made recommendations for six pedestrian crossing areas on campus. This effort was Phase I of a campus-wide initiative to upgrade pedestrian crossings.

The remainder of each meeting will be devoted to open discussion among attendees who will be asked to share their ideas, concerns and suggestions about pedestrian and motorist experiences on campus. FP&M will encourage discussions about the physical aspects of an area; whether or not there should be more rules or enforcement for pedestrians and motorists; and the best way to educate the university community on their responsibilities as drivers and pedestrians.

Cathy Brown, ISU Facilities Planning and Management, says that input from the campus community will be carefully considered as planners go into a more thorough campus-wide analysis of the pedestrian experience around campus.

"I think it's important to get the community's input because we all have different experiences and observations," she said. "We want to hear from people as we work on pedestrian crosswalks so we can respond and address some of their ideas."

What's been done already

The CTRE report, which can be read at the Web site, looks at six crosswalk areas on campus: Pammel Drive at Molecular Biology Building, Pammel Drive at Insectory Building, Beach Road at Forker/Lied, Beach Road at Maple/Willow/Larch, Wallace Road at East Campus Parking Deck and Union Drive at UDCC.

It discusses the physical characteristics of pedestrian crossings, such as pavement markings, signage, lighting and overall visibility for both pedestrians and motorists.

The report makes both immediate recommendations and long-term considerations for improvements. Some immediate actions have taken place. For example, new pedestrian crossing signs have been put up and tree pruning continues as part of ongoing maintenance to enhance visibility.

Currently, FP&M staff are evaluating pavement marking alternatives. They're looking at different pavement marking products to see how they stand up to traffic, snow-plows and other wear. Crosswalk markings will be updated throughout spring and summer.

These changes, said Brown, will set a standard for consistent messages for pedestrians and motorists at crosswalks throughout campus.

Next steps will include consideration of other potential changes such as the prospect of changing Pammel Drive to a three-lane roadway or modifying crosswalks to slow traffic such as slightly raised crosswalks.

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Open forums

  • April 10, 4-5:30 p.m., Memorial Union, room 244
  • April 10, 7-9 p.m., Union Drive Community Center, room 136
  • April 11, 4-6 p.m., Molecular Biology Building, room 1420
  • April 11, 7-9 p.m. Maple-Willow-Larch Commons
  • April 12, 4-6 p.m., Howe Hall, room 1304

Quote

"We want to hear from people as we work on pedestrian crosswalks so we can respond and address some of their ideas."

Cathy Brown, Facilities Planning and Management