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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW unveils Campus Master Plan updates

Officials present multiple possibilities to enhance spaces, places on campus
Anne Blackbourn

Presenting multiple suggested changes Tuesday, the Campus Master Plan officials are seeking to expand green spaces, new storm water areas and pedestrian and traffic accessibility.

By examining the current framework of the university, the Master Plan officials proposed several suggestions to improve spaces on campus.

By looking at what’s happening now, the plan was able to further address conflicts happening on campus and what alternatives could be proposed to fix them.


Interdisciplinary alternatives overview and discussion

Examining key areas of importance on campus, the Master Plan primarily looked at the busiest areas on campus in terms of pedestrian and vehicle traffic in an effort to make these areas more green and accessible.

Some of the areas the plan focused on included Observatory Hill, North Charter Street, University Avenue and South Campus.

Campus Master Plan team presents framework of plan, community voices concerns

Gary Brown, director of campus planning and landscape architecture, discussed the various alternatives the campus’ contractors had proposed.

Observatory Hill

Brown discussed Observatory Hill, which overlooks an unique view of the UW campus. The plan’s suggestions focused on possibilities of enhancing and protecting the view and nature surrounding it and would potentially restore the hill to its native look.

One suggestion recommended removing the parking lot near the lake and making the area more of a prairie and wetland area, Brown said.

Campus accessibility

Several people in the audience questioned the plan’s changes to make parts of campus more accessible not only for pedestrians, but for buses and bikes as well.

One of the main areas of concern included University Avenue.

Buses and bikes on this road are typically known for interweaving in each other’s lanes, sometimes causing conflicts. University Avenue could potentially see changes to its bike and bus lanes.

Several alternatives Brown presented included creating a two-way bike lane divided from the bus lane, or creating a two-way bike lane on the opposite side of the bus lanes.

Green space

Other changes on campus focus more on creating green spaces with trees to liven the looks of campus, as well as help with storm water draining.

A large concern of the plan has been implementing new storm water drains around campus, Brown said.

Looking at current green spaces and how they direct storm water has also helped determine areas where new trees could be added to soak up the storm water, Brown said.

Next Steps

The alternatives to the Campus Master Plan will be left up for public review through Dec. 15.

University officials hope to create a first draft of the Master Plan and winnow down the alternatives of the suggested proposals to areas on campus to multiple areas on campus.

The first draft of the Master Campus Plan will be presented Feb. 24, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Gordon Commons.

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