A special Kansas University panel studying traffic congestion on campus will soon issue a report that recommends landmark Jayhawk Boulevard stay open, greater use of the campus bus system and creation of a permanent transportation committee.
The ad hoc panel, formed last fall by KU officials and chaired by Tom Mulinazzi, associate dean of engineering, met Thursday to prepare a "final" draft jammed with ideas designed to alleviate the traffic snarl in the heart of campus.
Many streets in the central portion of campus are narrow and packed with pedestrians. Roads don't facilitate high-volumes of traffic. KU has recognized that and limits traffic access to streets through a series of control booths.
"THE COMMITTEE believes that congestion on Jayhawk Boulevard would be reduced if the short-range recommendations are implemented. It is also important that all unnecessary traffic be kept off the boulevard, especially state-owned vehicles.
"Closing part or all of Jayhawk Boulevard was discussed and rediscussed. Although it sounds like a good idea, the committee does not recommend closing any part of Jayhawk Boulevard at this time," a four-page draft of the report said.
The report, which will go to Executive Vice Chancellor Judith Ramaley, lists a set of short-range projects for immediate consideration, intermediate-range projects for the next five years and long-range projects for future study.
SHORT-RANGE recommendations were formulated to give priority to the high-occupancy bus system.
"There is a strong pro-bus statement here," said Charles Bryan, who represented KU on Wheels on the eight-member panel. "If bus service was to end, there would be an incease of 20,000 pedestrian crossings at 15th and Naismith."
Intermediate projects include redesign of parking behind Strong and Bailey halls, improvement of the Sunnyside-Sunflower intersection, rescheduling of high-demand courses throughout the day and staggering the start of evening classes.
LONG-RANGE projects "pie in the sky things," Mulinazzi said call for major changes to Memorial Drive, creating new bus loading zones if the boulevard is closed, and relocating office supply stores and the post office off Mount Oread.
"The committee feels strongly that the new permanent transportation committee . . . be given a continuous charge to be open-minded and imaginative in its approach to solving campus transportation problems," the report said.
The committee considered developing satellite parking on West Campus and east and west of Lawrence, a monorail or other fixed guideway system, making the boulevard a one-way street and closing the boulevard at several points.