Open up

May 3rd, 2012

Thank you for the recent editorial supporting campus moves toward sustainabililty and encouraging further moves in this direction. One of the areas omitted from the current discussions has to do with campus access.

A few years ago, Sasaki Associates, Inc., the firm retained to do a space study on campus, recommended increased access to campus (which they thought looked uninviting) and streamlining of the driving route through the campus parking lots. Not long after this recommendation was received, campus access became even more restricted than it had been before. I do not know who made the policy decision to cut off access to campus through the Belvoir entrance for these specific restricted hours, but they cannot have considered the sustainability question.

Closing off the Belvoir entrance means that someone coming to the gym, chapel, bookstore or other area of the Recplex must drive just under two miles (1.93) to get to a parking spot near the Recplex, rather than the 50-100 yards they would have driven if the Belvoir entrance had been open. Is two miles such a big deal? Let’s assume that at least 100 people each weekday are rerouted to the Fairmount Circle entrance. That’s 1,000 miles each week, for 40 weeks of the year. Let’s also assume that the cars average 25 mpg. The reroute burns an extra 1,600 gallons of gas, with the attendant damaging fuel emissions, and costs the drivers $6,250 (not counting the wear-and-tear on the tires, etc.).

What does this reroute accomplish that is worth so much extra time, money and frustration on the part of those who come to our campus, and so much additional damage to the ozone layer?

Let’s not make our great-grandchildren have to live with the results of this decision. Don’t fence us out. Open the Belvoir entrance, all day, every day.