Memorial University is changing some campus roads and parking lots to accommodate and enhance safety during construction of a new parking garage and a residence complex on the St. John's campus.
As of Aug. 30, 2010, motorists coming from Elizabeth Avenue will not be able to cut across campus via Russell Road and Livyers Loop (between the Paton College residence complex and the Chemistry-Physics Building) to reach Prince Philip Drive. The western section of Livyers Loop where motorists could previously make a left or right hand turn onto Prince Philip Drive will now be a one-way street going south into the campus.
The change will be in effect for at least 18 months.
This re-routing is being implemented as a safety measure to accommodate the construction of new residences to the west of Burtons Pond, said Darrell Miles, director of Memorials Department of Facilities Management. Heavy truck traffic for the new residences has been specifically routed through Russell Road to minimize hazards to pedestrians and vehicles on campus roadways.
The parking garage is being built by the Department of Works, Services and Transportation, and is expected to be completed prior to the fall of 2011.
These changes will also improve pedestrian safety by reducing speeds and providing a dedicated drop zone on the west side of Livyers Loop. We expect the change will be manageable for the campus community and its visitors.
Temporary parking lots will relieve some pressure
To accommodate parking areas displaced during construction, the university has also recently constructed a series of temporary parking lots along Elizabeth Avenue at Russell Road, just west of Clark Place, and adjacent to Coughlan College on the north side of the campus. These areas are currently green spaces and the university is committed to restoring them once the construction of the parking garage is complete.
We know that parking is an issue on our campus, Mr. Miles said. But we also know that many people within the university and outside our campus do not wish us to eliminate green spaces. We have been careful to select areas for temporary parking lots that can be converted back to lawn easily. We have preserved trees where possible and do not expect the restoration to be a problem. These solutions strike a balance between the need for temporary parking and the need to preserve green space in the long term.
In addition to these temporary lots, the university has established a temporary lot behind the National Research Councils Institute for Ocean Technology. A segment of Sandpits Road, which encircles the power plant, is also being changed to one way to streamline traffic flows into this temporary lot. This parking lot addresses parking spaces which were lost due to the construction of the Faculty of Medicine Extension and the Genetics Research Facility.