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New gates limit access to campus

November 18th, 2010

Contributing to John Carroll University’s continuous facelift is the addition of new posts and gates around campus. In the fall semester, students may have recognized new restrictions and openings that redirect the flow of traffic both in and out of the campus.

Behind Rodman Hall and Bohannon Science Center, posts are now set up where gates previously were in order to keep cars and other visitors out.

“The new posts are part of a project to ‘open up the campus gates’ to encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic onto and around the campus,” said Carol Dietz, the associate vice president of facilities. “Several groups [faculty, students and visitors] had mentioned that it was difficult to enter the campus through [the] gates [that were previously there].”

For most students, this is a change from the enclosed campus they are used to.

“Since there were concerns about the number of cars on campus after the removal of the temporary lot, it was an opportune time [to] include this project in our summer work,” said Dietz.

In addition to opening access for those on foot or bike, JCU also decided to add the posts in response to the removal of the temporary lot.

Though the final project costs are not yet confirmed, Dietz estimated the cost for the changes will be no more than $5,000. The money was funded through gifts to the Rev. Robert L. Niehoff, S.J., JCU’s president, due to the removal of the temporary lot.

The main gates from Carroll Blvd. and the Belvoir lot have been an added restriction to those entering the University by vehicle.

Brian Hurd, the assistant director of Campus Safety Services, said, “Since JCU has no designated parking areas for visitors, Campus Safety Services had to spend a lot of time and effort to save spaces. CSS and [the] facilities [department] came up with a plan to add the poles and gates in the lot in such a way to allow normal parking as well as allow us to easily reserve parking spaces and control access.”

The prior way of restricting traffic in the Belvoir lot – using large 55-gallon drums and caution tape – was inefficient, did not hold up during the bad weather and it did not look professional.

Fifteen thousand dollars was spent to add the Belvoir posts and gates, and was again funded by the same means.

The South Belvoir Blvd. entrance to campus is now closed on weekdays from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Traffic must now enter through the Carroll Blvd. gate during these times.

“All traffic must flow through this gate so that parking passes can be checked. These were changes put in place at the start of the semester to monitor access and enforce parking on campus,” said Dietz.

The new traffic flow, however, has been an annoyance to some students.

“When off campus, I’m rarely near the front entrance of the University. So when I come back onto campus, I, by default, use the Belvoir entrance and numerous times, when I go to enter, it’s closed,” junior Mark Ehrbar said. “To add to the inconvenience, a right-hand turn is not permitted on Carroll Blvd. before 6 p.m., so you have to go all the way down to Fairmount [Blvd.], which also causes guests to get lost.”

Some students have not been bothered.

“I do think it has helped with parking because now that they check passes, there are less people who drive, meaning the parking scare at the beginning of the semester no longer exists. It is regulated very well,” said junior Adele Koury, who now commutes to JCU from her off-campus housing.

CSS sees these changes as beneficial to their job around campus to help regulate those who come in and out of the gates.

“This allows the University to more efficiently, effectively and safely accommodate campus guests and manage events,” said Hurd.