More Bike Lanes; Less Parking Spots - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

More Bike Lanes; Less Parking Spots

Maxine Ridling
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX - Safety concerns for many local college students are what made school officials take away hundreds of spaces with hopes of them getting to school another way.

West Texas A&M University will be under construction for the next several months, and more students are expected to cross the streets along Russell Long Blvd.

For thousands of WT students who will drive to school in just a couple of weeks, they may notice finding a parking place won't be as easy.

"The University has decided to close Russell Long to parking on the curbs," Gary Barnes, Vice President for Business and Finance said, "because of safety concerns."

In the past, when students crossed the street along Russell long blvd many drivers couldn't see them because of the parked cars.

"Our concerns were safety, people stepping out between the vehicles as well as the vehicles driving down the street or pulling out of parking areas not being able to see clearly," Meri Lyn Odell, Director of Police Administration said.

With more students expected to cross the Boulevard because of the opening of the Buffalo Sports Park school officials decided to paint the curbs yellow and make it a no parking zone. Before they were yellow many students would be able to park along this street, but because of safety concerns school officials decided to take away the parking spots and add bike lanes instead.

"We think the bike lanes will be a great opportunity we'll add more bike racks on campus it's just an easy way for students to move around and a safe way, and it protects them as well," Barnes said.

The parking lot that replaced the Old Fine Arts Building is expected to be completed by Fall 2011. It will fit 160 spaces.

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