I read with interest the article “Projects in full swing as school makes many changes,” July 16, about development of bypass roads, rotaries, new athletic fields and landscaping at Colby College. I am all for improving the pedestrian experience for students; their safety is paramount. I drive through there often, always stopping at the crosswalks, and giving those running or walking in the road (sometimes four abreast or on the wrong side of the road, I might add) right of way and a wide berth.

According to Brian Clark, vice president of planning at Colby, the changes ostensibly represent enhancement of experience and campus accessibility to the community as well. If this is the case, then where are people who must drive to the campus to enjoy sport, academic and cultural offerings supposed to park, especially at the new athletic center?

Those of us who live close enough to walk do so when weather allows, but there are many attending these offerings from the surrounding communities who don’t have that option. The short indented area along the roadside in front of the athletic center does not accommodate many cars, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot big or close enough to accommodate many cars. There also seems to be scant access and a long haul to the door for those with mobility challenges.

Am I missing something? Colby’s investment in and partnership with Waterville has been a wonderful thing, especially as the downtown area comes alive with projects completed and under way. If part of the goal is to enhance community experience on campus, however, green space is lovely, but the need for adequate parking is real. If there is a parking plan, I look forward to the big reveal. If there isn’t one, how come?

 

Robin Johnson

Waterville

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