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Light Traffic Greets Gates

The campus community got the message and largely avoided Dan Allen Drive this morning, allowing for a decidedly low-key launch of the new traffic gates just south of the parking deck.

“This is what we were hoping for,” said a public safety administrator, who surveyed the intersection at Dan Allen and Thurman Drive at 9:15 a.m.

Wolfline buses appeared to be running without delay and pedestrians and cyclists made their way unimpeded. The gates were installed primarily to improve pedestrian safety and reduce traffic congestion.

Members of a local news crew, hoping for visuals of a giant traffic jam, seemed to be the only disappointed observers.

Responses (4 Comments)

  • David Senter

    I understand the gates.But what is going on with the traffic light signals?The cycles for both intersections are way too long.Also,after hours(say between 9:00 PM and 7:00 AM and weekends)put the lights on flash mode.There is no need to sit at the intersection when there is no traffic.David

  • Sharon Price

    I been coming through Dan Allen for over 10 yrs now, Staff not allow to used Dan Allen any more my 7:30 to 4:30 i just used Dan Allen for morning on my way to work in the evening i take another way.

  • Carrie Levow

    I’ve been watching the gate from my office in West Dunn. There have been several close calls with pedestrians. Cars that get stopped by the gate and have to back up are forced to back up through a crosswalk. There is no guidance for pedestrians so they cross whichever direction they want whenever they want. That’s okay when the gates are operational but this behavior continues after 5. People walk across the two streets without regard for traffic that is unimpeded by gate or light. There is also no guidance for drivers who approach the gate and don’t have access. If this isn’t your area of campus, or if you’re not affiliated with the campus, how would you know that turning right at the Dan Allen Deck will (now) get you to Friendly Dr. or that turning on to Thurman will get you back to Sullivan Dr.? Furthermore, the signs that *are* there don’t inform drivers that the gate is restricted by card access only. Everything talks about “service vehicles” which is a very broad term at this university. Apparently, access has been arranged for UPS and FedEx, but the driver of the non-affiliated service vehicle that delivers bottled water to my office is supposed to know that his truck isn’t a service vehicle for the purpose of getting through this gate.

    The goal was a good one… the implementation not so much.

  • Chris Webster

    While the stated goal of “improving pedestrian safety and reducing traffic congestion” is a noble one, the implementation has arguably made it more dangerous to be a pedestrian. Before this project, the Dan Allen/Thurman crossing seemed to be one of the safer ones on campus (and certainly one of the safest on Dan Allen). With the addition of this gate and conversion of the traffic signal to an all-red configuration (even when the gates are up), pedestrians seem confused by the lack of signals, leading to them crossing in every direction whenever they feel like it.

    If you want to improve pedestrian safety, restore the crossing signs to the way they were. Increase visibility of traffic going down Thurman towards Dan Allen so that people attempting to cross Thurman from South to North don’t have to get in the middle of the street before being able to tell if they’re going to get run down. Add a crosswalk connecting the end of the sidewalk on the North side of Thurman to the sidewalk on the South side of Thurman so that pedestrians aren’t forced to make an illegal and unsafe crossing. Add speed bumps to Thurman between Sullivan Hall and Dan Allen Drive to ensure that traffic actually goes the speed limit (which is 15mph).

    Claiming that this project was to “improve pedestrian safety” is disingenuous. The real goal here is to remove traffic from Dan Allen Drive during key hours to keep the buses running on time. While that isn’t a bad thing, achieving better on-time bus performance by creating traffic chaos and pedestrian confusion just isn’t worth it.

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