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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M to expand campus dismount zones

In+an+effort+to+make+areas+with+high+pedestrian+traffic+safer%2C+bike+and+skateboard+dismount+zones+on+campus+will+be+expanded.
Photo by Jesse Everett

In an effort to make areas with high pedestrian traffic safer, bike and skateboard dismount zones on campus will be expanded.

Texas A&M’s Transportation Services plans to expand dismount zones throughout campus in an effort to ensure pedestrian safety.
Dismount zones are designated places where cyclists and skateboarders are required to walk in order to maintain a safe environment for themselves and fellow pedestrians. Rudder Plaza is currently designated as a dismount zone, and in the near future, Transportation Services intends to expand these zones into other areas with high levels of foot traffic, such as Academic Plaza and Military Walk.
Changes will be gradually introduced over time so that the campus community has time to adapt and make adjustments to their modes of travel. For now, plans to expand to the Academic Plaza and Military Walk are anticipated to be implemented either in early spring or late summer of 2019.
According to Alternative Transportation manager Ron Steedly, the implementation of these dismount zones is meant for the safety of everyone.
“The high numbers of bicycles, skateboards and other wheeled transportation combined with extremely high pedestrian volume creates a commotion that can often lead to collisions on campus,” Steedly said in an email interview. “Dismount zones in high-traffic areas help to alleviate and correct this problem, offering added safety for pedestrians.”
The zone expansion is in accordance with the 2017 Campus Master Plan, which recommended future dismount zones in areas with a lot of traffic. University architect Lilia Gonzalez said the plan was laid out with student experience in mind.
“The three key objectives of the [Campus Master Plan] are as follows: Enhance the Student Experience, Improve Campus Connectivity and Integrate the Built Environment,” Gonzalez said in an email interview. “One way to achieve these objectives was to evaluate our mobility network comprehensively to ensure that they are working together to help create a safe and pedestrian-friendly environment.”
Gonzalez said an extension of the dismount zone would create a “safer, calmer and higher quality environment” for pedestrians.
As part of the dismount zone expansion project, there are plans to redirect cyclists and skateboarders to the sidewalk parallel to Military Walk, offering a path through main campus where they will not be required to dismount. David Brown, planner in the office of the university architect, said these changes are not meant to be a burden, but rather to be helpful for A&M’s growing student population.
“We’re hoping that people will just see the intent of it and enjoy it,” Brown said. “We’re certainly going to keep our eyes open and try to learn as well. We’re just doing the best we can to keep growing it and making it as happy and healthy of an environment as we can.”

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