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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Parking, traffic changes set for URI’s Kingston Campus

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- July 26, 2004 -- Improve pedestrian safety, reduce traffic in the campus core and increase the number of visitor spaces and parking access for persons with disabilities near the center of campus are among the major reasons for significant changes in the University of Rhode Island’s traffic and parking plan. The changes take effect Aug. 15.

"Everyone supports the concept of making the plan safer, more efficient and more economical," said Parking Services Director Robert Drapeau. "By making the plan more efficient, we will have fewer enforcement issues to manage."

Flagg Road is slated for several major changes. First, parking will be allowed on the south side only, and a walkway will be added for pedestrians. The centerline will be moved to the north, and the parking spaces on the south side will be 2 feet wider.

Parking will be eliminated on the north side and signs will designate a wide shoulder. Only commuters displaying the proper permit will be allowed to park on Flagg Road. Overnight parking will not be permitted. Intersections are also being improved and a three-way stop area will be added at Heathman Road.

"We want to reduce pedestrian-vehicular conflicts on Flagg Road," said Patricia Gardner, parking services coordinator. "We also made the changes to assist in snow removal. When the area was designated for resident parking, cars would be left overnight, making it difficult to remove the snow. Commuters tend to leave campus at the end of the day."

As part of the changes, Greenhouse Road will be one-way with its entrance on Flagg Road. Vehicles will no longer exit onto Flagg Road from Greenhouse Road.

Other areas affected by the changes are:
o Fine Arts Lot (North)—The north side of this area will be assigned to campus
resident students only. In addition, the URI marching band practice area has been re-established. After the middle of November, the band barrier will be removed to allow parking in that area. Several parking spots on the southwest corner, near the Fine Arts Center entrance, are designated for short-term unloading only.

"We understand that students, faculty and staff have to unload and carry instruments and projects," Drapeau said.

o Fine Arts Lot (South)—This area will be for faculty, staff and visitors. Commuter parking will no longer exist in this area.

o Burnside resident lot—The area has been expanded by 30 percent and will continue to be assigned to upperclass campus resident students only.

o East Alumni Avenue—South side parking will be eliminated, and the centerline will be moved south. The north side will be for faculty and staff parking only. This move is also designed to ease congestion, enhance pedestrian safety and provide easier access for emergency vehicles.

o Washburn Hall and East Hall lots – This area will be switched from a faculty-staff assignment to a visitor assignment so that visitors will have better access to the core of the campus.

o Lippitt Road—The small area on the north side of Lippitt Road, previously designated as visitor parking, will be set aside as parking for the handicapped. Vehicles must display a current valid state permit. The change has been made to address a critical need for parking for people with disabilities near the Quadrangle.

o President’s Drive—Five spots for the handicapped are provided only for those with a current state permit.