Central Oregon Community College could limit vehicle traffic on a main road that cuts through its Bend campus.
The college’s 10-year facilities master plan, approved by its board of directors this month, proposes limiting College Way to buses and service vehicles. It would also add new roads connecting the Mazama parking area and the Boyle Education Center to the culinary roundabout, connecting the upper campus to College Way and filling a gap in the upper campus.
“One of the challenges of COCC’s Bend campus is that it’s bifurcated,” said Matt McCoy, the college’s vice president of administration. “College Way runs right down the middle.”
Students with classes on both sides of campus now have to cross at crosswalks, and neither they nor drivers are always aware the others are using the street, he said.
College Way also has on-street parking, which means visibility isn’t always great, McCoy said.
And because classes start early in the morning, city snowplow crews don’t always have time to clear the road before classes begin, he said.
College Way is a city street, so COCC would have to work with the city to develop it as a pedestrian walkway.
McCoy said it’s not a certainty, and it would not happen quickly — the college’s budget, also approved this month, has no funding for College Way renovations.
If it does happen, the walkway would still allow access to emergency vehicles, the campus shuttle and possible city buses, which now stop on College Way.
It also could add tables, benches and more xeriscaped landscaping, creating a space on campus that could host markets or similar outdoor events.
“The concept is similar to what you find at many universities or colleges, a promenade or walkway,” McCoy said. “The idea is during peak pedestrian usage to make it a more welcoming place.”
The additional roads, meanwhile, would create almost a circle around the campus to provide access for students if College Way closes to most traffic.
“Those roads would complement limiting vehicle traffic on College Way,” McCoy said.
The master plan also calls for renovating several older buildings on the Bend campus, expanding the gym and adding another recreation field.
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