The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 1st

Construction May Hinder Traffic

Things could get worse before they get better for pedestrians and drivers in Chapel Hill as the University prepares for a slew of massive construction projects.

On Oct. 3, the Chapel Hill Town Council approved the UNC's Development Plan, which calls for the construction of 41 new buildings and six new parking structures in the next eight years.

The plan aims to alleviate the parking and traffic problems that now plague Chapel Hill. But in the short term, construction will likely add to traffic and parking woes.

University officials hope that fare-free busing and careful planning will help mitigate the effects of construction on staff, students, employees and residents.

"It's going to make it more congested on campus while it's going on," said Carolyn Elfland, associate vice chancellor for campus services.

"But pedestrian safety plans and construction traffic plans will be prepared for each project."

The Development Plan is the first step in the Master Plan, a 50-year blueprint for growth.

George Alexiou, chief transportation planner of the Master Plan, said one transit challenge facing UNC is a need to reconcile growth with physical and financial limitations."The Development Plan gets more into the details of how," Alexiou said. "It's the nitty-gritty of implementation."

Parking

For people who choose to drive to campus, parking could be a problem, as at least six parking decks will be built within eight years.

The decks will add about 1,550 parking spaces: 1,360 for UNC Hospitals and 400 for employees and commuting students. Students living on campus will lose about 240 spaces.

The new lots include:

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