UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

Attention UT Tyler Community: City of Tyler to Implement Traffic Changes

December 1, 2011

Varsity Drive

In continuing efforts to enhance pedestrian and driver safety on and around UT Tyler’s main campus, the City of Tyler will implement two traffic changes affecting Varsity Drive immediately after the fall 2011 semester, Mike Medders, UT Tyler chief of police, announced.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 19, parking on Varsity Drive will be prohibited 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The areas in which parking will be prohibited will be clearly marked with signs. The parking in front of the private residences at each end of Varsity Drive will not be affected.    

“Varsity Drive has become a very congested roadway. Drivers exiting parking lots often have to enter the lane of traffic before they can see if it is clear to proceed, which substantially increases the chance of a collision taking place,” said Medders. “The addition of the bus stop on Varsity Drive has also increased pedestrian traffic in the area. All of these issues together, along with increases in student population, have created the need to prohibit parking along Varsity Drive.”

A temporary three-way stop also will be created at the intersection of Varsity Drive and Old Omen Road.

“At peak times of the day, it is very difficult for drivers on Varsity Drive to turn onto Old Omen Road. This creates a traffic congestion issue due to the fact that at times there are 30-plus vehicles lined up on Varsity Drive waiting to turn, which further complicates the safety issues along Varsity Drive,” Medders said.

After a period of observation time passes, the City of Tyler will determine whether to implement a permanent three-way stop or seek some other form of traffic control measure to improve the situation, he added.

City statistics show that 12 accidents have been reported on Varsity Drive during 2010 and 2011, according to Medders.

“Being in a position to observe the traffic hazards, the university police department solicited the assistance of the City of Tyler,” Medders added. “The consensus was that prohibiting parking during normal business hours would be the most conducive to the safety of the pedestrian and motoring traffic. We all feel fortunate that there have been no fatality accidents on Varsity Drive. We are being proactive in our approach to improving the safety of our campus community and of those that visit our campus. We did not want to wait until a serious accident occurs to take action.”

For more information, contact Medders, 903.566.7060 or mmedders@uttyler.edu

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 Last Published 1/19/12