The center core of the University of Arkansas campus will become a walk-only zone, beginning today (Aug. 25).
Bicycle riders will be required to walk their bikes and skateboarders required to carry their boards from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an area bordered by the Arkansas Union on the west, Campus Walk on the east, the School of Law and Agriculture buildings on the north and the Fine Arts and Chemistry buildings on the south. Also, no delivery vehicles will be permitted on the sidewalks, and only a few authorized service vehicles will be allowed into the area.
“Our concern is safety,” said Steve Gahagans, director of the University of Arkansas Police Department. “We have very heavy pedestrian traffic in this area all through the day, and particularly when classes are changing. When you add bicycles, skateboards, golf carts and service vehicles the congestion becomes dangerous. We have had several pedestrians injured by bike riders in recent years – and we’ve had many complaints of close calls. This plan will make the sidewalks safer, without any major inconvenience.”
Officials said signs will be placed at the approaches to the walk-only zone to alert riders before they enter the area. University police will be patrolling and enforcing the new policy, which according to a news release, has been discussed and is supported by campus staff and faculty leadership, the Division of Student Affairs, and representatives of the Associated Student Government.