A portion of East Frederick Street on campus has been closed to conduct a survey to see if the area should become a pedestrian walkway.
“The why behind that closure is the University’s facilities master plan,” says Thomas Waltz, assistant vice president of facilities at Millersville. Waltz, along with others met with the Student Government Association on Jan. 24 to discuss the closure. “Creating a more pedestrian friendly campus is part of the master plan. However, it’s important to note that capital projects are a long term endeavor, from five to 10 years, and plans can change,” says Waltz.
The University is updating the current facilities master plan. A new science center will most likely be the next major project and would be adjacent to the proposed walkway. In addition, there has been discussion of a new parking structure where Roddy Hall and Caputo currently sit.
“Imagine a multi-level garage with an ADA complaint elevator that provides access from the academic core to Pucillo Gymnasium. With all of those changes, the pedestrian walkway makes a lot of sense,” says Waltz.
“Student, faculty and staff involvement is critical in the planning process,” says Waltz. “When you hear about open forums or are asked to fill out a survey, please participate. Your input is extremely valuable in forging the future of the university.”
“The temporary closure of East Frederick Street between High School Avenue and Creek Drive is designed to assess the traffic patterns on campus to determine the feasibility of this walkway,” says Waltz. “We appreciate the Borough’s continued cooperation and willingness to keep the road closed until Fall 2019 semester. It was important that this study occur during the semester so the University can get a full picture of the traffic patterns when classes are in session and students are on campus.”
This closure eliminates 34-36 free borough parking spaces, which the University acknowledges is not ideal for commuters. Waltz and others are in conversations with the Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA) to enhance shuttle service around campus. Currently the Prince Street Garage near Jefferson Hall runs around 20 percent capacity. On a recent Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., there were more than 200 spaces available. The enhanced shuttle service would make it easier for students to park there and take the shuttle to class.
Waltz wants to keep the conversation going and will join a group of students to meet and discuss commuter concerns as they arise. Information will be disseminated to the wider University community as it becomes available.