There have been discussions and plans for many years to make Millersville University’s campus more pedestrian friendly. When the Villages were built, George Street was closed at the Student Memorial Center to create a pedestrian walkway. On Friday, Jan. 18 Millersville University will take another step towards making the campus more pedestrian friendly when East Frederick Street, between High School Avenue and Creek Drive, will be closed. The five to eight month closure is to conduct traffic studies to determine if it makes sense for the area to become the next pedestrian walkway.
“There have been lots of conversations about this and we’re following through on past, present and future master plans,” explained Ron Frisbie, Jr., project manager. “Turning East Frederick into a pedestrian walkway has been in the long-term plan for campus for many years. Millersville Borough has agreed to vacate that part of East Frederick temporarily, in exchange for Centennial Drive, allowing us to see if it makes sense to create a permanent walkway.”
“During the closure, Pennoni Engineering will study the traffic flow across campus, along with the amount of pedestrian traffic to and from academic buildings on the south side of campus,” says Thomas Waltz, assistant vice president for facilities. “If the data supports a dedicated pedestrian walkway, the University will continue working with the borough on a vacation of the roadway and dedication of Centennial Drive.”
Barricades and a chain will be put across the street at the intersection of High School Avenue and East Frederick Street, as well as at the Creek Drive parking lot near McComsey Hall. Fire and safety officials will have keys in the event of an emergency. Snow will continue to be removed from East Frederick Street.
“From a safety standpoint, the traffic and pedestrian study will ensure that the closure does not negatively impact safety at other points on campus,” says Patrick Weidinger, director of safety and environmental health.
Editor’s Note 1/23/19
The town meeting on the pedestrian walkway has been postponed.
Editor’s Note 1/15/19
We realize that this is going to be an adjustment.
The East Frederick Pedestrian Pathway has been discussed with the borough for more than 10 years. The Campus Facilities Master Plan includes this pathway to enhance pedestrian safety while providing a central corridor to the University’s academic core. Pedestrian traffic has increased significantly with the completion of the residence halls, the Gordinier addition and the new Lombardo Welcome Center, making the pathway needed.
We believe that closing this section of East Frederick Street will increase safety on High School Avenue. During peak hours, this one-way road is congested with pedestrians and vehicles. Closing East Frederick Street will reduce the number of vehicles on this section of the roadway therefore improving pedestrian safety.
We understand that any change to roadways will impact traffic flow. As mentioned in the article, an engineering firm is looking at the impact the closure has on key intersections/roadways. Based on their data we will evaluate the feasibility of permanently closing East Frederick Street.
4 replies on “Millersville’s Campus Becoming More Pedestrian Friendly”
I have a degenerative nerve disorder that effects me I. A multitude of different ways. Walking long distances or walking too much can cause me to be in pain for days. This plan takes away being able to park at the handicap spots near luek and hash. Not to mention there are already not enough handicap parking spots. I really feel like doing this has no benefit to students what so ever. I think you are creating problems where there doesn’t need to be. We have a large population of commuter students. More so than we do resident students… the campus should be creating parking not taking it away.
Editor’s Note: The handicap parking as well as staff and commuter spaces in the lots off High School Ave. will still be accessible. You can access them from George St. to the short block of E. Frederick St. and turn left (North) on High School Ave.
I completely agree with the other two comments. I don’t see E Frederick being such a big issue for pedestrians that it would need to be entirely closed to vehicles. The only issue I see is all the jaywalking. Those who are even entertaining this idea must not be aware of the already-heavily congested James and S George. That traffic gets backed up down toward end of McComsey parking lot as it is now! Also, the Frederick closing will influence commuters to use the Centennial Dr to Shenks Lane route. You really want a significant amount of commuters going through the residence hall area? As stated already, parking will become even more of a hassle if E Frederick is closed. Implementing this idea will truly create more traffic in other areas.
I agree with the first comment. This will really snarl traffic for those using the Creek Drive parking lot. And it will eliminate a lot of parking spots. While I am a great believer in friendliness to pedestrians, they do not seem to have any problem at all coping with the traffic on Frederick Street. And the traffic congestion from the Creek Drive lot is already a problem. Perhaps putting up a pedestrian crossing at Frederick St and High School Ave would take care of any issues about crossing Frederick St and this would not significantly hinder vehicular traffic.
This will make the campus less commuter friendly. There will be a loss of parking spaces along Frederick St. This will also cause the James St. area to be more congested during peak times, as many of those using Creek Dr. Parking Lot will have to enter an exit it via James St. The congestion will also cause more cars to wait at the light on George St. and more gas wasted while idling in the congestion. A lot of people use Frederick St. to High School Ave. to exit campus and avoid the light at George St. and to avoid the congestion of James St. Also in the event of an emergency, there will be fewer ways for exiting campus.