Celina Oseguera and Brendan Abrams
This is the second in a continuing series about the Cal Poly Master Plan. Read the first here.
The Master Plan is a long-term plan Cal Poly must update and have approved by the California State University Board of Trustees. The most recent update to the plan includes changes the university wants to see in the next 20 years, setting guidelines for the campus’ physical development.
The Master Plan has the following goals:
- Phase growth north
- Modal shift
- Environmental sustainability
- Enhanced Learn By Doing
- More students living on campus
- A compact, cross-disciplinary academic campus core
- More diverse students, faculty and staff/more vibrant evening and weekend activity
One by one, Mustang News will break down these goals and their affects on students, faculty and the community.
Goal two: Modal shift
The top of the hour on campus sees a lot of activity — people walking to their next class, bikers pedaling in and out through pedestrians and drivers stalled at the crosswalk.
Interim University Planning Officer Linda Dalton saw this problem on campus frequently.
“If students from CAFES (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) are trying to get to their cars so they can go out to class in the fields, they can’t even get out of the core to do that,” Dalton said.” If you’re trying to leave to go to work or you’re just coming to class because you didn’t have class ’til 10, that’s a mess.”
Dalton and the Master Plan team’s main goal for reducing this kind of congestion is a full-out modal shift.
The shift includes reducing the amounts of cars on campus and increasing walking and biking routes.
One solution, according to Dalton, is to restrict car access to certain roads that lead into the campus interior. That way, there is less car congestion on campus.
Below are the three Master Plan conceptual circulation maps. Each one restricts different roads. Restricted roads are shown in red.
Circulation map 1 restricts portions of roads which surround the area that includes Engineering IV (building 192) and part of the Cuesta Way entrance route.
Circulation map 2 restricts portions of roads which surround the area that includes Engineering IV (Bldg. 192) and the part of Highland Drive between its entrance into campus to the beginning of Village Drive.
Circulation map 3 restricts the roads map 1 and 2 restrict as well as the portion of Grand Avenue that starts adjacent to the Sequoia Red Brick dorms, turns into Village Drive and ends a little ways from Poly Canyon Village.
Click on each one to get a larger picture.
Restricting roads isn’t the sole solution to fixing congestion. As the maps indicates with dashed black lines, there are plans to add roads as well.
These roads will be on the outskirts of campus to allow car access, while still keeping cars outside of the campus core and away from pedestrians. Most will be above the creek area north of the campus core.
The maps also indicate there will be parking structures on the outskirts of campus so students will have a place to park if roads leading to the inner core are closed off. The proposed structures are shown in dark purple and the existing ones in light purple on the map.
There may also be a transit from these outer spots into the campus interior. These transit stops are shown on the maps as T for transit stop and TC for transit center.
Biology junior Dania Hatamleh didn’t think a transit center would be a good replacement for allowing cars into the campus interior.
“You would save money on a parking permit and gas, but it seems like it [a shuttle system] would be more inconvenient,” Hatamleh said.
According to Hatamleh, the transit would not be as convenient than driving because students often come to campus at strange hours and would need something more flexible than a transit’s set drop off and pick up times to get onto campus.
Aerospace sophomore Isaac Blundell didn’t like the idea of set transit times either. In his experience, current public transportation is already slow and a transit to campus may be the same.
“I can beat the bus to school on my bike,” Blundell said.
Increase walking and biking routes
The proposed roads— shown on the maps as dashed black lines— will also have bike lanes and sidewalk for pedestrians.
Yellow dashed lines show new pedestrian walkways.
Anyone can address their concerns and opinions about the Master Plan to the university through this Master Plan contact page. The university will accept comments until the end of the quarter.