For the future residents of Morgan Hall, the trip from the new housing facility to Main Campus might resemble a daily struggle to dodge heavy traffic in an unmarked crosswalk and venture through unlit areas.
The opening of the new residence hall will result in new walking patterns on Main Campus, creating a new major crossing point at Liacouras Walk and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
In preparation, Facilities Management is ramping up efforts to ensure the safety of the new crossing point.
“It is a safe place to be, but a careful evaluation of the traffic plan and the added student influx showed us there is a need for improvement,” said Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations James Creedon.
Creedon said Temple will make the street pedestrian friendly by marking the crosswalk and adding a blinking yellow caution light and yield signs. The university will also add a roving police officer to monitor the crossing point, he said.
Facilities Management will improve the landscape leading toward Morgan Hall during the summer. Creedon said the specifics of the plan are not ready yet while emphasizing that none of the changes will be drastic or disruptive.
“Our short-term goal is to polish the little skateboarding park next to Morgan Hall,” Creedon said. “We are going to make sure it is clean and well lit, perhaps we’ll add more benches or trim some trees, anything to make it more attractive.”
The budget for the new developments was approved by the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees meeting in early February. It will be reviewed and voted on during the Board of Trustees meeting today, March 5.
Depending on the final version of the budget, Facilities and Management will consider adding bike lanes along North Broad Street and adjacent streets to Morgan Hall.
“It is worrisome when you see all these bikers on the sidewalk,” Creedon said. “We can’t have that happening, especially when we expect the number of pedestrians to increase by more than 1,200.”
Aside from crosswalk safety measures, school officials are worried about students’ lack of precaution while crossing the street.
“We’ll do everything we can, but certainly students will have to realize they have to look up from their phones when they get to the crosswalk and look both ways,” Creedon said. “There is no officer or policy that can help with careless actions.”
Laura Ordonez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.