Expect traffic congestion near Iowa, other streets near KU, as thousands of students move in Thursday, Friday

photo by: Richard Gwin

University of Kansas freshman Morgan Chilcott organizes her belongings during KU's move-in day, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, on Daisy Hill.

Call it a flock, call it a mass, call it a very long line of vehicles. Whatever you call it, Lawrence motorists should know that several thousand Jayhawks will be arriving in town on Thursday and Friday.

Motorists should expect significant traffic delays on parts of Iowa Street, 23rd Street, Clinton Parkway and Bob Billings Parkway on Thursday and Friday as University of Kansas students start moving into dormitories.

KU officials are expecting the heaviest traffic to be from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days. For those unfamiliar with the annual fall move-in process, students, family members and others helping them move in are directed to drive to the Clinton Parkway and Crossgate intersection, which is just west of 23rd and Iowa streets. From there, motorists are directed into a long line of vehicles that snakes its way through KU’s Park and Ride parking lot and through KU’s west campus.

Ultimately — sometimes several hours later — motorists make their way to the Irving Hill Bridge that crosses Iowa Street and leads to the Daisy Hill district of the KU campus, where the majority of dorms are located.

However, if history is any predictor of the future, that entire process results in more vehicles than the Park and Ride lot can handle at once, meaning a long line of vehicles forms on Clinton Parkway, Iowa Street and 23rd Street.

Once their vehicles are unpacked, dorm residents and their families are directed to park their vehicles at the Lied Center parking lot, which is across Iowa Street from Daisy Hill. Those vehicles, at times, create congestion along Bob Billings Parkway and the Iowa Street intersection and the Bob Billings and Crestline Drive intersection, which leads to the Lied Center parking lot.

While the intersections closest to Daisy Hill and the Park and Ride lot are the most likely to be heavily congested, past events have produced lines of vehicles that impact traffic on larger sections of Iowa Street, stretching north from Bob Billings Parkway/15th Street.

Some traffic congestion also may occur near KU’s other dormitory districts on the northeast corner of campus and on the southern end of campus. KU leaders anticipate some congestion near 11th and Louisiana streets, where GSP and Corbin halls are located, and near 19th Street and Ousdahl Road and 19th Street and Ellis Drive, which is where Downs Residence Hall and Stouffer Place apartments are located.

Prior to the pandemic, nearly 5,000 KU students lived on campus. That number fell to a low of about 4,000 during the height of the pandemic, but rebounded to about 4,700 students last school year.

KU will begin classes for the fall semester on Monday.