In an effort to make the heart of campus more user-friendly and safer for students, Louisiana State University has implemented a new program called “Easy Streets.” Easy Streets was designed to mark off the heart of campus and make it unavailable to students and the public driving motor vehicles. In other words, if you are not a faculty or staff member of the university, forget about taking the usual routes through campus in your car during the hours of 7:00 am through 4:30 pm during the week!
According to the news release issued by the University the first phase of the program started on July 31, 2007. The Office of Parking and Traffic at LSU hopes that Easy Streets will make the campus more user-friendly and safer for students. When students return to campus later this month, they will find the new booths stationed around campus that will have arms and be electronically controlled. Faculty and staff members have been issued electronic devices to automatically open the gates. Students, however, will not be allowed access to the heart of campus and will not be allowed to drive a vehicle through the gated devices.
Initially, several of the booths will be manned by an employee of the Office of Parking and Traffic to make sure the devices are working properly and to redirect any traffic that will not be allowed to continue through the gates. Booths and or gates are located at South Campus Drive and Highland Road, South Stadium at Highland Road, Tower Drive at Highland Road, Dalrymple Drive at Infirmary Road, Cypress Drive, South Stadium, CEBA Lane, Fieldhouse Drive, North Stadium Drive, and all “C” gated parking lots. Infirmary Road has also now become a one-way road to avoid confusion and congestion in the area.
Easy Streets was originally set to begin operations earlier this summer but was met with several delays. A delivery truck struck one of the booths and several of the concrete barriers were also hit before the gates were installed. When gates were tested for operation a few minor bugs were found which also delayed the program. Faculty and staff members have met with problems mounting the magnetic strips on their windshields as instructed. Some windshields are designed with a curve which makes a straight magnetic strip impossible to stay in place.
Emergency personnel and vehicles will have complete access to all areas on campus. The bus route will also run the original routes. With less traffic on the streets, routes should stay on schedule.
All in all, this is a new program designed with good intentions. It will make campus safer for pedestrians and cut down on vehicles being in the heart of campus. For more improvements, they should also consider a safety course for those riding bicycles on campus that think they shouldn’t obey any traffic laws.