Aug 272002
 
Authors: Kyle Endres

Students walking down University Avenue will no longer see the Transfort Transit Center that used to be one of the busiest areas on campus.

The plan for the former transit center is to add 23 new parking spaces and landscaping to the area.

The project begins today with the removal of the shelters from the transit center and is expected to conclude later this fall.

The additional parking spaces should be ready for use within a couple of weeks, said Cass Beitler, project manager for CSU facilities management.

“We want to utilize as much parking space as is currently available,” Beitler said.

The new look for the area will have landscaping where the shelters were and parking spaces painted in on the south side of the former transit center. Once the center’s plans are finalized, facilities management will likely contract the landscape work to an outside company but they may do the parking spaces themselves.

The plan for the former transit center is drawing a positive reaction from many CSU students.

“I think the landscaping will help the look of the campus and be aesthetically pleasing,” said senior Grant Lauer, a natural resource management major. “23 spots isn’t that much, but it’ll be better than nothing.”

It was important that CSU get some parking back after losing parking space where the new Transfort Transit Center is on the north side of the Lory Student Center, said Mike Rose, director of CSU parking services.

“Since we lost close-in parking and gained close-in parking, it’s a fair trade,” Rose said. “We support the transit center and the idea of alternative transportation, but we still need to provide parking in the core areas (of the campus).”

It has not been decided whether the new parking will be student, faculty or meter parking, Rose also said.

Joel Helgerson, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, feels that more parking is a good thing, but only if some of it goes to students.

“We definitely need more parking, but it’ll probably be ‘A’ (faculty) parking anyway,” he said. “But if they take ‘A’ parking from somewhere else and add student parking there, it’ll be worth it.”

There was discussion of adding parking spaces along University Avenue near the Hartshorn Health Center, but doing so would not fit in with the University’s master plan of having the inner campus eventually open to pedestrians only, Beitler said.

Emergency vehicles will be the only motorized vehicles allowed on University Avenue.

Although the landscaping plans are not finalized, plans are to add more trees, as well as add two large rocks to keep people from exiting the Morgan Library parking lot onto University Avenue.

“I’m hoping once we put in the landscaping, it’ll make that entrance to the campus and the core area of the campus more pleasant and inviting,” Beitler said.

Although she does not drive on campus, sophomore Jill Regenthal cannot think of a better use for the former transit center than to add more parking.

“I can’t think of any other use for (the space),” said Regenthal, a business major. “Since they took parking spots out, it’s good that they’re replacing them.”

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