Turning around the traffic issues

By Dave Gomez

Possible solutions to traffic troubles in the new DuSable turnaround area may include adding a left-turn lane at Stadium Drive and North Annie Glidden Road, as well as stronger enforcement of no-parking zones, said University Police Lt. Matt Kiederlen.

Campus Parking Services has received complaints from drivers in the area, Kiederlen said.

The most popular complaint was that Lot 20 near the Chick Evans Field House has one exit, leading to a back-up in traffic, Kiederlen said.

Data the University Police collected showed the heaviest traffic times on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are 15 minutes before the hour until the top of the hour, said Laura Lundelius, coordinator of parking and traffic for Campus Parking Services.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, traffic leaving that area is heaviest between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., 1:30 and 2:15 p.m. and 4:30 and 5:05 p.m., Lundelius said.

Students remain split over the turnaround.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Kathy Giles, a senior media studies major. “They took away professors’ parking to do this.”

Giles, who works on campus, expressed anger over NIU’s decision to spend $1 million on the renovation.

“This is Illinois, not California,” Giles said.

Others find the changes more useful.

“It’s more convenient for the buses. There’s no backup,” said Nick Dunbar, an undeclared junior. “It would have been nice if it was [closer].”

Despite some traffic issues, the area has seen improvements due to the turnaround, Lundelius said.

“Before, the buses struggled to get through that area, and that is not the case anymore,” Lundelius said.

Buses are also running faster than before, and the number of students taking the Huskie Bus has risen, Kiederlen said.

Two new 2004 Gillig Phantom buses with improved wheelchair-accessibility features have also been added to the 21 buses currently on campus, said Huskie Line General Manager Charles Battista.

A stop at Barsema Hall on the campus circle route is also new this year, Battista said.

Parking at Lot K near the former Carrols Cinemas building has also been opened up to students with yellow commuter permits, Lundelius said.