When students returned to campus, they found the Colonnades and Danieley residential neighborhoods divided by a gate.
Located next to the Violet Hoffman Daniel Commons Building, this gate has been a roadblock for students driving to their classes.
“I sat in front of it for a minute, but it did not open. Someone was waiting behind me, so I had to tell them to move so I could turn around,” said sophomore Megan Tower.
Danieley resident freshman Lundy Fine said, “When I try to drive to lift in the morning, it takes me extra time because I can’t cut through campus to the athletic center.”
Though inconvenient for students, Bio Bus driver James Harrelson said he thinks the gate is a helpful addition to the community.
“The gate is serving a good purpose because students used to not stop at the stop sign. It’s a good benefit for buses, now there is less traffic. It’s a lot safer for me because now there are no cars,” Harrelson said. “On the other hand, it’s another stop I have to make,” he said.
Harrelson sympathized with students who were late arriving to class because of the new installation. “They’ve got ‘No Thru’ signs now, but I think those signs were put up later. So kids didn’t know about it at first.”
As Harrelson said, many students were thrown off by the arrival of the gate, unsure of its purpose. Jon Dooley, Vice President for Student Life, sent out a campus-wide email Sept. 7 addressing the gate with the hope of clearing some confusion.
“When the gate arm is fully operational, the only vehicle traffic that will be able to pass between the Colonnades Lot and the Danieley Neighborhood will be university or emergency vehicles,” Dooley said. “This is by design, for important pedestrian safety reasons.”
Dooley explained that if any car could pass through, it would have quickly become a safety hazard for the student pedestrians crossing the parking lot for class.