University to Limit Traffic Access on West Dickson Street
Traffic restrictions west of Harmon Avenue to start Jan. 14Monday, January 14, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – One of the busiest intersections on the University of Arkansas campus may soon become safer and less congested. The city of Fayetteville has granted a permit allowing the U of A to limit traffic on West Dickson Street from Harmon Avenue to Garland Avenue for specific periods during the week. This will allow the university to close this section of Dickson Street to unauthorized vehicles Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The U of A will take operational control of the street on Monday January 14, at 7 a.m., the first day of classes for the spring semester.
“Our main concern is for pedestrian safety, mainly at the intersection of McIlroy Avenue and Dickson Street, where we have heavy traffic of all kinds and a huge number of students crossing during the class day,” said Mike Johnson, associate vice chancellor for facilities. “That intersection has always been busy but the record growth the university has experienced over the past several years has certainly made the situation worse.”
Under the permit only emergency vehicles, Razorback transit buses, approved delivery vehicles, university service vehicles and drivers with university parking permits for adjacent lots will be allowed on this section of Dickson Street during the restricted period. Bicycles will be allowed but scooters and motorcycles are not authorized.
“There’s a lot of support for limiting traffic on Dickson St. in this area and we appreciate our permit request being approved,” Johnson said. “Initially we’ll focus on the section from Harmon Avenue west to the point Dickson Street ends at Garland Avenue. We will install signage to alert traffic and redirect unauthorized vehicles to turn left on Harmon Avenue. And then when class is not in session – nights, weekends and other periods when pedestrian traffic is reduced – we will open that section of West Dickson Street to all traffic.
“We have decided initially to only use signage to notify traffic of the street access changes and request compliance during the posted hours. The University of Arkansas Police Department will monitor compliance during the first week and advise non-compliant motorists of the new access policies with a verbal and/or written warning. After the first week citations will be issued to future violators in most cases.”
Johnson says facilities management and parking are evaluating any parking issues the closure might create, including in the area on Garland Avenue just south of Dickson Street. A parking lot for scooters in that area will have to be closed and replaced with ADA disabled parking.
“At some point in the future, as the new classroom and lab building is built on West Dickson Street, we will have to consider limiting authorized traffic west of Duncan Avenue as well,” Johnson said. “For now though, it’s the end of the street west of Harmon Avenue that needs our attention for pedestrian and vehicular safety purposes.”
Mike Johnson, associate vice chancellor for facilities
Mark Rushing, director of strategic communications
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