The first open forum about Central Michigan University’s campus master plan Wednesday brought discussion about bike lanes, handicap accessibility and an official campus entrance.
Those in attendance included representatives from various organizations and offices on campus as well as around the Michigan area. Topic discussion varied from future building placement, current building renovation, land use, pedestrian and bike patterns and parking, among other topics.
Andrew Sheppard, a member of the campus master plan team, said the decisions the team is making will ultimately be more beneficial in the future.
“We aren’t just looking at immediate needs but at the long-term needs and the needs for the future,” Sheppard said.
Early discussion involved ways to make CMU a more handicap-friendly environment. Complaints about “hidden elevators” and inconvenient infrastructures of some of the older buildings on campus including Brooks, Finch and Pearce halls were brought up.
“We are trying to figure out what and where the opportunities are (on campus),” Sheppard said.
There was also heavy discussion about bike paths and the use of bike lanes on campus.
Concerns were raised about bikers riding on sidewalks, as opposed to the roads. One proposed idea is to paint bike signs onto the streets, making it easier for bikers to follow laws and keep everyone safe.
Sheppard said the proposed painted road signs are cheaper in cost and are easier for people to use for navigation.
In addition to painted road signs, campus police have started patrolling CMU on bicycles, enforcing bike laws such as making complete stops at stop signs. Police hope to keep pedestrians, drivers and bikers safer in the long run.
“We want to create a pedestrian zone that’s safe and secure,” Sheppard said.
Discussion about an official entrance to campus was also brought up. Those involved in the group discussion said there should be some sort of indication one has arrived on campus.
One potential spot for the proposed official entrance is somewhere near Warriner Hall, where prospective students, business officials, visitors and alum typically first go upon their arrival at CMU.
Sheppard said the main goal of the plan is to provide CMU with the image it wishes to portray.
The master plan team will meet the week of Feb. 25 to work on design concepts to address identified needs and opportunities for CMU’s campus. The public is welcome to attend open meetings on Feb. 25, 26 and 27 in the Bovee University Center to comment on the concepts, in addition to filling out a survey regarding the Campus Master Plan that was sent via email to the CMU community Thursday afternoon.