Construction continues on new “ring road” across campus
By Peter Hubbard
In the midst of drivers selflessly offering each other parking spaces, cars gliding under the 15 mph speed limit, student’s seamlessly entering and exiting campus off Haggerty, the commute around Schoolcraft is perfect—so long as one is visiting on the weekend.
For the other days of the week, results may vary. Transportation to class may be as simple as a straight shot to a front row parking space, or it may be a feat of driving dexterity, winning the face-off against competing cars for the last spot in sight.
This causes not only annoyance, but danger to students and staff. Especially in the winter, the peak concern for most is entering and exiting off of Haggerty. If that route is congested, it can slow travel to-and-from campus to a crawl.
In order to address transit concerns, Schoolcraft administrators have authorized a project that will tremendously benefit campus travel. A new “ring road” will soon circle behind the campus presenting additional pathways for travel, and also providing hundreds of parking spaces.
Divided into two phases, the ring road will divert the flow of traffic away from Haggerty Road and onto neighboring streets. “Now students will have access to Six and Seven Mile roads,” said Glen Cerny, Schoolcraft’s Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. “The first phase involves branching off of Seven Mile behind the Bio-Medical Technology Center and Physical Education building. That gives students direct access to 7-mile.”
Paired with this first phase is the construction of a new student lot. “We will put 350 all-new parking spaces behind the Bio-Medical Technology Center,” Cerny said.
With construction already underway, “Phase one will be complete by November, before Thanksgiving, and the parking lot will be functional around December,” he said.
The second phase accomplishes the same feat as the first, but in the opposite direction. Mr. Cerny elaborates, “Phase two involves continuing the road from behind the back of the Physical Education building, through vacant land next to the soccer fields, to Six Mile Rd.” This step will take place after the first is complete, but the tentative dates are yet to be determined.
The significance of the ring road is Schoolcraft will now be accessible by three major vectors (Haggerty, 6 Mile, and 7 Mile), instead of only Haggerty. Not only does this provide convenience, but also security.
“You always want roads to be on the outside of campus,” Cerny explained. “We’re getting traffic away from the buildings, so pedestrians are safe from traffic.”
Students will benefit greatly from this project by the expansion of parking spaces. It will provide parking availability, right where students need it. “When people see a problem with parking, it’s not that there are not enough parking spaces, but there are not enough close to the building in which they have class in,” Cerny said. “We did a study that said there is needed about 2200-2300 spaces around campus.”
More spaces than that are already spread throughout Schoolcraft, so, this project aims specifically at putting spots where students need them. “Roughly… there will be 800-1000 new spaces by the time we’re done,” Cerny said.
Aesthetics will also be taken into consideration for the project, as the ring road will be both groomed and attractive. “The other piece we’re doing is green[ing it] up a little bit. There will not just be asphalt, but maintained walkways and trees planted,” Cerny said. “On campus, we want the feel of green and trees instead of a concrete jungle.”
Overall, the road is another beneficial renovation for the college. It will bring more cars, convenience, safety, and even some beauty to the campus. Parking lot struggles will be minimized, winter walks to class less dismal, and pedestrians will be safe from speeders cutting through campus. By ensuring all of these rights and privileges to students, Schoolcraft is surely on the right road.