Lucinda Avenue extension nears completion


The Lucinda Avenue extension sits partially constructed on an area of land where Douglas Hall used to stand. 

By Satta Kendor

NIU President Doug Baker’s plan for a 10-minute campus will soon be a couple blocks closer with the completion of the Lucinda Avenue extension.

The project, intended to create a direct route to Stevenson Hall and the Convocation Center by extending Lucinda Avenue through where Douglas Hall once stood, is near completion as pavement has been put down on the roadway, said NIU spokesman Brad Hoey. The road is expected to be open by early November at the latest, depending on the weather and contractors, Hoey said.

Along with the extension, the HuskieLine will make changes to its routes, said Robert Jusino, Student Association director of Mass Transit. As of now, there is no bus for the extension, but changes are expected to be made in early to mid-November Jusino said.

Meetings with administration and the general manager of Transdev, where buses are serviced out of, will take place within the next week or so to decide what bus route changes can be made, Jusino said.

A route change — one of three possibilities — may come to the 2L and 2R routes, which go to the residence halls on the west side of campus.

“What we could do is change the residence hall route that hits all the dorms and then takes students into the heart of campus to utilize that Lucinda extension, hit some of those dorms and then come back,” Jusino said.

Another option being discussed is to keep the residence hall route the way it is, and add an additional bus going up and down Lucinda Avenue to the Convocation Center, Jusino said.

“… Athletics has a problem with getting students to and from the games, [and] that would be a huge benefit to have a route that goes right past the Convo Center, goes past all the residence halls, goes past … Holmes Student Center, DuSable and all those,” Jusino said.

There may be one or two idle buses on the HuskieLine fleet that could be used on the route. Adding a bus would mean extra costs due to gas, service and bus driver salary, but it could be effective, Jusino said.

The last option is to take a certain bus off a route that has low ridership and move it to a new route, Jusino said. This year, a route 4 bus was eliminated from the route due to low ridership and added to the 5R and 5L routes, Jusino said.

“I don’t think that you can rule anything out without at least looking at the statistics or even sometimes the facts to figure out what’s the best way to do something,” said Transdev General Manager Marcus Cox, who oversees employees for the buses and makes sure they are on time, operating efficiently and promoting good customer service.