Church Street construction intended to calm traffic, promote student safety
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Jul 14, 2014 | 969 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TRAFFIC SLOWS as it approaches a speed bump on Parker Street. These raised crosswalks are also being installed on a section of Church Street that runs through the Lee University campus. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
TRAFFIC SLOWS as it approaches a speed bump on Parker Street. These raised crosswalks are also being installed on a section of Church Street that runs through the Lee University campus. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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WORK HAS BEGUN on a traffic calming project on Church Street. The median will split the road into two one-way lanes divided by a landscaped median.  Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
WORK HAS BEGUN on a traffic calming project on Church Street. The median will split the road into two one-way lanes divided by a landscaped median. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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Church Street will look different this fall when Lee University opens its new communications building.

The portion of this street from Central Avenue to 6th Street will be designed to mirror Parker Street.

LU Director of Special Projects Cole Strong said the road will be widened to allow for a landscaped median and two lanes of one way traffic. The enhancements will also feature raised crosswalks for pedestrian traffic, like the ones on Parker Street.

“The idea is that we create some cohesiveness on campus, so we are kind of mimicking what we have done on Parker Street,” Strong said. “In doing all of this, we will put in all new infrastructure for drainage and sewer reasons and then put back all the curb and guttering.”

The main goal of the project is to keep students safe and prevent speeding in the area. Strong said as plans for the south end campus continue to move forward, there will be increased student pedestrian traffic in the area.

The median will be four feet wide to 12 feet wide along the road. Strong said they were able to widen the area in some areas because there was room to move the street over on both sides.

“In the chunk where we could cut into our parking lot, that’s where the median gets the widest,” Strong said.

The university received approval for the project from the Cleveland City Council earlier this year.

“We are appreciative of that,” Strong said.

Strong said discussion with the city on the project began last fall.

He said the university is working with the city to ensure elements of the projects are meeting guidelines and timelines.

The street will remain a city street and be maintained by the city. The landscaped median will be the responsibility of the university.

Redeveloping the Church Street Annex (the former First Baptist property), moving the business department and constructing a nursing program building are among future plans for this area of the campus.

The former parking lot for the church will be turned into a field. Strong said the Greek service clubs on campus are working with the university to raise funds for a architectural feature to go in the center of the designated green space.