Thursday, September 20, 2001

Traffic jams likely as UC begins classes




By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Today is a day to avoid the University of Cincinnati unless you work or study there.

        A new school year begins for about 33,800 students on all five campuses. Traffic congestion will be greatest around the main campus, where parking is scarce and roads will approach gridlock.

        If there is any good news, there are fewer courses on Thursday than on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so many of the 24,749 students registered on the Clifton Avenue campus won't be trying to reach their classes.

        Darlene Brown, director of parking services, predicted backups starting about 7 a.m. and lasting until mid-morning at the Hopple Street exit from Interstate 75.

        Ms. Brown also said there would be slow traffic up the hill to the main campus on Martin Luther King Drive.

        Southbound Clifton Avenue also will be jammed before 8 a.m. first hour classes, she said.

        Ms. Brown said traffic is lighter from the east side but traffic on the Taft exit from Interstate 71 and William Howard Taft Road/Calhoun Street will be heavier than usual.

        Competing for road space will be 8,871 employees on the main campus.

        UC urged drivers without permits to park in the library and business school garages off King first because those lots have most cash spots. Once those spots are full, only drivers with reserved parking will find space.

        On the main campus, traditional roles may be reserved. Returning students will find familiar paths blocked by construction fences, while freshmen probably will be more sure-footed after spending the past week there.

        Most construction is centered on the new one-stop student service building facing Clifton Avenue, expansion of the student union and reconstruction in the old engineering quad.

        Another change involves designating smoking-free dorms: Calhoun and Siddall for a start and probably Jefferson Hall when it is finished.

        Another change involves the new bachelor's and associate's degrees in humanities with a focus in religion. Granted in the College of Evening and Continuing Education, these are the only programs in the Tristate “not rooted in a particular religion, denomination or theology,” coordinator John Brolley said.

       



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