Due to rising concerns with pedestrian safety and traffic congestion on Mount Royal University’s campus, permanent roadblocks were implemented on June 30 as a solution and have since remained.
Traffic surrounding the campus has been steadily increasing and vehicles were using the inner ring road to cut through. But now, new roadblocks by the Riddell Library and west residence are combating this problem.
Gerry McHugh from the university’s parking services says the roadblocks have created two separate cul-de-sacs on campus, giving people a purpose for being there. People now go to the area they need and can no longer pass straight through campus.
“So what it has done is reduce the volume of traffic and the congestion” McHugh says,
“So, for the safety of all the people coming out of our parking lots — pedestrian traffic — these areas were shut down and we kind of made areas on the campus for people to come and park or to actually drop people off as well.”
“I get the purpose of it, but it’s annoying for someone that drives and doesn’t walk around the campus a whole lot." - Ayla Eriksen
McHugh says the roadblocks have really had a positive impact on the parking, especially the East Gate Parkade, which would get backed up around 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday due to increased traffic coming through. Now drivers exiting the parkade can do so smoothly.
Psychology student, Ayla Eriksen, says even though she hasn’t noticed a difference with congestion in her parking lot, she feels safer walking around the campus. However, she still uses her vehicle to get around campus and the roadblocks have been an inconvenience.
“I get the purpose of it, but it’s annoying for someone that drives and doesn’t walk around the campus a whole lot. I think they should maybe find something else to do, cause it is inconvenient for drivers that do sometimes drive around campus. You can’t now,” Eriksen says.
She suggests pedestrian lights or a tunnel like the one at the University of Calgary as possible solutions. But for now, the roadblocks will remain and the campus can expect to see a decrease in traffic and congestion as well as a higher sense of safety.
- By Arianna Korbett