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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-2116

URI announces traffic plan for Ryan Center events

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Sept. 25, 2002 -- The University of Rhode Island has put into effect a traffic and parking plan to accommodate events at The Ryan Center and to minimize impacts on Kingston Village and routine campus operations. The plan also directs patrons to use preferred lots designated for Ryan Center events to enhance entrance to and exit from events.

The URI plan has been developed in cooperation with South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Exeter officials, as well as the state Department of Transportation and the State Police.

The first major event is a concert by Counting Crows set for Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

The priority is to direct traffic arriving from and leaving to the north to use Route 4, Route 102, Route 2 and Route 138 .

"We are encouraging travelers to use Route 2 because DOT confirms that it has underused capacity and can handle traffic from a sold-out event," said Vern Wyman, URI assistant vice president for business services.

A message board on Route 4, southbound, north of the Route 102 intersection will direct Ryan Center traffic to preferred parking via Route 102 to 2 to 138.

Preferred parking will be provided in the VIP/Handicapped lot at the north entrance to The Ryan Center, the new 800-car lot north of the Center, in the 200-space dairy barn lot, as well as service sector lots within close walking distance to the center.

Until new parking spaces are completed, the University has identified the fenced area enclosing the former outdoor track facility west of The Ryan Center off Plains Road, as an interim site for event parking only.

From the south and east, traffic approaching the Kingston Campus from Route 108, South Road or from Route 138 will be directed to the Keaney parking lot entrance. Access to Keaney will be allowed only for traffic flowing from east to west via Route 138 making a right turn into the lot. No left turns will be allowed by vehicles attempting to enter the Keaney lot from the west to east on Route 138.

The plan strongly discourages use of local roads such as Old North Road, Upper College Road, Lower College Road and Fraternity Circle so that the surrounding community and the campus environment are only minimally affected during a Ryan Center event. Vehicles entering through local roads will be directed to less attractive lots at Chafee or other staff lots in the area, and they will not be permitted to enter the preferred event parking at Keaney or to the north of The Ryan Center.

"Throughout the process we have been asking DOT if we have overlooked anything," Wyman said. "They told us that we are using the existing roads effectively. There is a game plan here."

To expedite exiting from an event, Wyman said traffic lights on Route 138 at Route 108, Fairgrounds Road; Upper College Road, and Plains Road will be operated manually by South Kingstown and University police. They will give preference to traffic exiting The Ryan Center.

In addition to highway signs, there will be signs on campus directing patrons to the correct parking areas.

Media contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116, Vern Wyman 401-874-5478

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