Urbana attempts to make its streets safer

By Melissa Chua

The University is on its way to safer streets.

The City of Urbana applied for highway safety improvement program funding that will enable construction on Gregory and Goodwin next year.

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Paul Lucas is the vice chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. He said construction plans may be carried out in the near future to decongest dangerous bus and student traffic.

“So as far as I know, there’s gonna be some construction on Gregory,” Lucas said. “Gregory, by the way, if you’ve ever ridden in the front of the bus, driving down it is a nightmare. I’m really amazed that the bus drivers can keep their cool as long as they can.”

Director of Campus Services Pam Voitik said the goal of construction is to ease traffic congestion on Gregory and Goodwin Avenues.

“Some of the improvements that have been made throughout the University district; the more complete street-type design that tries to minimize conflict, making the distance for pedestrians to cross smaller,” Voitik said. “All of this came about through recommendations from the Campus Area Transportation Study.”

The City of Urbana is still going over construction plans for Gregory and Goodwin. Voitik said construction might begin in the spring or summer of 2009.

The Gregory and Goodwin construction plans are part of an initiative to make the campus a safer place for pedestrians, bikers and drivers. To learn more, visit the Urbana City Council Web site.