Speech focuses on the need for easy access to downtown

Catrina Cieslik

Spenser Havlick, a professor of architecture and planning at the University of Colorado, spoke on a transportation plan involving improving campuses and their surrounding communities yesterday evening on the third floor of Franklin Hall.

The speech, titled “Foundations of a Joint Transportation Master Plan,” was open to the public and sponsored jointly by the University’s geography department and Transportation Services.

“The way we build our campuses and towns depend on how attractive it will be in the future,” Havlick said.

Kent State has always had problems with available parking and transportation to and from campus, but creating more parking spaces is not the way to solve the problem, he said. The price of parking should actually be raised.

“The big thing you need to do is gently raise the price of parking,” Havlick said.

“No freshman that lives on campus should be encouraged to park on campus.”

Havlick said there is a need for alternative modes of transportation and a bike and pedestrian friendly campus.

To illustrate his point, he presented several slides showing how his home campus at Colorado incorporates individual pathways for pedestrians, cyclists and skateboarders.

The University of Colorado has also created a bike station service to get cyclists more involved and help eliminate the use of vehicles on campus. The station loans bikes out and provides storage for students who bike to campus.

At the University of North Carolina, they built an underground parking structure that provided easy access for pedestrians.

Havlick said, however, that the cost of such parking is high.

“Investment in a parking structure will cost $20 to $30 million,” he said.

He said avoiding surface lots should be important for Kent State.

“You want to have as much pedestrian and cycle use so it doesn’t take away the excitement of the core.”

Havlick stressed the need for Kent State to explore the visions and the possibilities of the future for the university.

“There is a need for better economic development and there should be easy access to downtown for people of all modes of transportation,” he said.

“This discussion gave us hope that our dreams can come true even faster than we ever thought,” said Thomas Euclide, executive director of Facilities Planning and Operations.

Transportation committee member Diane Stresing said the message Havlick brought was important, but more people need to get involved.

“I thought (his) presentation was very good, I just wish there would have been more people here to have change take place faster,” she said.

Contact transportation services reporter Catrina Cieslik

at [email protected].