Crosswalks to be replaced on Virginia Garrett Avenue

Joe Lord

The stroll up and down the Hill each day may require one less heads up for students, faculty and staff.

Western officials plan to replace the crosswalk in the middle Virginia Garrett Avenue that was erased last year during the renovation of Northeast and Southwest halls.

Facilities Management director Doug Ault said two crosswalks will be painted soon on the road during a weekend where rain is not forecasted and a campus event is not taking place.

A stop sign will also be installed at the exit of the Grise Hall lot, Ault said, and vehicles will no longer be allowed to drive from the Grise lot to the Central Hall lot across Virginia Garrett.

The two new crosswalks will parallel each other. One will stretch across the street from the Bate Shop and the other will connect the sidewalk near Southwest to the main corridor up the Hill, Ault said.

SGA president Jamie Sears voiced concern about the need for crosswalks near the directional halls during a Parking and Transportation Committee meeting Friday.

“It’s really dangerous for students and anybody, really,” she said.

Campus police Capt. Mike Wallace said without crosswalks in place, Virginia Garrett can be hazardous.

“We’re just trying to keep pedestrians from being struck by vehicles,” he said.

Ault said replacing the crosswalks will cost about $1,500. The old crosswalks near Northeast and Southwest were faded last year by heavy machinery used in the directional hall renovations, he said.

Gene Tice, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Services, said the university is working on a plan to completely close Virginia Garrett.

New entrances for the Grise and Central lots would be built connecting them to Normal Drive, Ault said. Virginia Garrett would then be used only for service and emergency vehicles.

Ault said a new Grise lot entrance would loop between Northeast and Grise. The new Central lot entrance would run between Southwest and Central.

Tice said there are only rough preliminary plans for such a project at this time, but the crosswalks will make the hike up the Hill safer until work can be done.

“We’re a long way from having that a reality,” he said.

Tice said closing Virginia Garrett is part of a goal of the Master Plan committee to allow pedestrians to walk from Pearce-Ford Tower to the top of the Hill without crossing a street.

Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]