Carroll Ave. closure good for the future

When it was decided last year to close Carroll Avenue to through traffic, there was debate as to whether the move would be a wise one. Some believed the closure would mean extensive traffic problems and congestion on surrounding streets.

While this concern is a valid one, it is important to point out that the long-term benefits of integrating the campus well outweigh suffering short-term inconveniences.

Although the adjustment was at first a difficult one for bus drivers and the riders, Huskie Buses now continue to run as scheduled, and motorists have grown accustomed to bypassing Carroll when driving in the area.

Records will reveal that before the street was closed, Carroll Avenue posed a great risk to pedestrians. Closing the street on a permanent basis, as well as possibly closing a portion of Normal Road, would eliminate such risks.

In addition, the “mall” would be expanded and the campus would achieve the integrated look the administration desires. No other university in the state is broken up by two busy streets in the center of campus.

The DeKalb City Council voted Monday to extend the closure until May 15, 1988. The avenue will not be closed permanently, as has been considered by the university, until a commitment is made to repair Lucinda Avenue. With the two parties working together on the issue, the desired goal of improving the look of the campus can be met without major obstacles.

It seems inevitable that at some future point, Carroll will be closed permanently. The university, with the assistance of a private contractor, has been investigating expansion and redesigning the campus, part of which would include transforming the Carroll area into a mall.

A recent survey indicated a majority of students, faculty and staff favors both the temporary closure of Carroll and the permanent mall concept. The university should heed the results of the survey and begin working toward the ultimate goal of integration.

While the minority who oppose the move might have valid concerns, they should understand that improvement takes time. The inconveniences suffered now are small compared to the benefits the university stands to gain in the future.

When looking at the “Master Plan” outlined by the professional architects, it seems the results will be well worth the wait.