Blog Post Three:
The first area of this field assessment that jumped out at our group was the sidewalks — this is the very nature of walking any route. Sidewalks are key to a pedestrian friendly areas, and make up for a large part of the routes at Ohio State. For the most part, Ohio state is fully interconnected by sidewalks. From the network of paths across the Oval, to the linear yet efficient stretch up Canon Drive.
The center of campus had the best sidewalks by far. In general, the sidewalks around the Oval were wide enough to accommodate the large amount of daily foot traffic and were in good condition. However, there were some places, notably on the north side of the Oval where the sidewalks were heavily damaged. Also, near Page Hall, the sidewalk was too narrow for more than two people to walk side-by-side.
<- the narrow pathway near page.
<- ample room for many pedestrians on The Oval.
The other stretches of campus also had fairly good sidewalk accessibility – with the acception of some areas near the shoe such as the one pictured below:
This sidewalk pictured is certainly not Accessible to those who may not be prepared to deal with harder terrain.
Over all, when it comes to accessibility, Ohio State did very well. Notable example of accessibility come in the form of the ramp and stair choices at the Billy Ireland Cartoon museum that blend flawlessly (pictured below).
Most of Ohio State’s campus was accessible, featuring gradually sloping sidewalks for easy access to intersections, along with handrails, and much more. Another example of seamless design is in front of the College of Business with this well placed ramp:
Another great accessibility feature that OSU has focused on is handicap parking — which can be found near almost every building.
Parking as a whole is often joked about by students and staff alike. Taking this bias we noticed several trends in campus parking — firstly was parking garages. There certainly was an abundance of them across campus, which are more efficient and can offer much more to the campus than a normal surface parking lot. Pictured below is one of campus’ smaller surface lots, which clearly does not hold many vehicles.
Another surface lot that took up lots of space was the one around the shoe, pictured below. This lot is often used by visiting bands for festivals, and various tailgating — making it a unique instance of a mixed use parking lot.
Meanwhile, High street is more characterized by its 2 hour metered parking spots along the side of the road.
As for street safety, campus can be something of a mixed bag. Some areas, such as woodruff, offer pedestrian lights and sounds that allow everyone to know who’s turn it is to use the intersection. The image of the business school from earlier has one of said crosswalks in it. Sadly, not all crosswalks on and around campus are as safe.
Pictured above is a crosswalk that relies on drivers seeing the yellow signs and halting for pedestrians. Even though the crosswalk here is ‘closed’ it is still clearly in use, and this is the same case for non-street light monitored crosswalks all over High Street — this can be incredibly detrimental as High Street is one of the highest traffic areas in all of Columbus.
This similar style crosswalk is far more appropriate on a smaller campus road such as the one shown below.
Our final area of discussion is street width. High Street is the widest of the Streets on campus, but much of it is taken up by parking. As can be seen below it is not wide enough to accomodate the bike lane it claims to have.
The next image is very typical of a campus street, featuring 2 lanes and allowing for traffic to flow in both directions. Only a few streets on campus were one way.
These streets are acceptable for most general use, but can easily become congested during busy times such as rush hour or game day. They also can be unsafe if cars attempt to pass bikes that have not claimed the entire lane.
Overall, however, Ohio State has done an excellent job of using it’s land to create an interconnected, safe, and accessible campus with a pedestrian focus.
~Back Corner Design Team