University plans for new entrance

Change in direction of traffic will alleviate traffic backups

Though the infrastructure of the campus is not conducive to growth, Northern Kentucky University has seen an improvement with the inflow of traffic so far this year.

According to Bryan Allen, University Police captain, the most difficult time to maneuver through campus occurs during the first three to four weeks of a new semester.

“With the start of school, we usually hire overtime to control a new influx of kids. It is usually about a three week taper before you see an improvement,” Allen said.

Campus Police usually deploys three to four officers during the day shift to assist with the heaviest traffic times of the day. Normally, this occurs around 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. on weekdays. The big push of students, especially of those with Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday classes, is something they pay close attention to.

With the growth of the university, both in number of students and campus expansion, plans must be made to expand the roads. In the university’s long-term plan, a new entrance will be created with a three to four lane road on the back end of campus, pushing traffic into the parking lots rather than taking commuters through campus to get to those parking lots.

The university’s road structure is based on a car-count that was completed during summer semesters, when fewer students are actually on campus. “You have to build the roads with commuters in mind,” Allen said.

Tentatively, parts of Kenton Drive would be eliminated with this particular project, mainly between the Kenton Drive parking garage and Carroll Drive. Kenton Drive, from University Drive to Carroll Drive as well as Johns Hill to that parking garage, would remain open while the rest becomes grassy area with crosswalks remaining.

What many students do not realize yet is that there are other ways of getting to the university.

“It is a habit for people to take 471 or 275 to those areas of the university. Many people don’t know that you can take the Wilder exit to Johns Hill, they just stay in one area because of the familiarity,” Allen said.

Some students believe that the traffic direction is making the roads both commuter and pedestrian friendly.

“I live in the Meadowview Apartments, and sometimes it’s a pain to get across the street because it is oncoming traffic and they don’t need to stop,” student Ricky Harm said.

Other students, however, are questioning the plan’s effectiveness.

“I don’t like the plan. I believe that traffic would still be the same and that making a connector road will be costly and cause tuition to go up,” junior Kyle Kohorst said.

Allen said they are trying to keep the university student-friendly, with newer designs and more police officers and substations available to students. They want the community involved, but “plans are plans, they are always changing.”