The Ohio State University’s board of trustees will be addressing the issue of parking and transportation in Nov. with plans to overhaul CABs services and move more parking to the outskirt of campus to accommodate OSU growth in the coming years.
“All of this stems from The One Ohio State Framework Plan that was completed in 2010,” said Keith Myers, associate vice president of physical planning and real estate. “It included several high-level recommendations about the transportation system that would support the broader campus development vision.”
The framework plan focused on the idea of making OSU a “park once” campus for visitors and studentsthat would rely heavily on providing available parking outside of campus and its transit systems to move people through campus. The new proposal, called the Comprehensive Transportation and Parking Plan, or CTPP, is tied to that goal.
“The CTPP will follow the basic direction established in the framework plan,” Myers said. Myers did notethat the plan is not finalized and is open to input and revision in the coming months.
“In its stage now it is hard to state how the “park once” model will affect individual students,” said Dan Hedman, director of marketing and communications for the Office of Administration and Planning. “The “park once” model that was examined during the Framework study involves integrating all modes and facets of the transportation system into one.”
“Full implementation of the “park once” principle requires a robust alternative transportation system,” said Beth Snoke, director of transportation and traffic management. “It has to efficiently transport individuals from the parking facilities on the outskirts of campus to various destinations on campus.”
The proposal would replace several of the shuttle routes that run through campus with one “core campus circulator”. The new campus loop would be more similar to the new Central Ohio Transit Authority routes downtown started this year. Stops would be made around the loop with shuttles running in both directions including a primary shuttle hub on 17th from the loop.
To keep the shuttles running on time OSU would limit other vehicle traffic through central campus during the day. COTA routes would stay on the perimeter of campus
“Foot traffic at class changes is really significant right now,” Myers said. “Frankly, right now it can be really scary when there are cars and these big masses of people moving back and forth.”
Since the university switched from quarters to semesters pedestrian and cyclist traffic has increased according to school officials.
Stops would be made around the loop with shuttles running in both directions including a primary shuttle hub on 17th Ave. Other routes would branch out from the route.
“I think the biggest struggle with the university shuttle service is that even campus loop north and south, the closest to a circuit we have, are not even parallel routes,” Micah Sauder, a first-year in environmental engineering.
Right now the majority of campus parking is available on west campus in the carmack lots, or north in the gray lot by the Shchottenstein Center and the Buckeye lot off of Ackerman Rd. There are no major lots east of Neil Ave. and all major lots feed into state route 315.
“I also think it would be nice to have parking options on the outskirts around campus that would allow you to start your commute home quickly on several different highways,” said Sauder. “Hopefully that would help people who have to drive avoid traffic whether they are heading home or off to work.”
“I cannot speculate as to what the Board of Trustees will address in Nov.,” Hedman said. “Our goal is to present them the most developed and comprehensive options to allow for a safe and efficient transportation and parking system to support our growing infrastructure.”