No more drop-offs before class on Rose Street


Bikers ride on Rose Street on campus in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. Photo by Tessa Lighty |Staff

Paidin Dermody

Traffic on Rose Street near Columbia Avenue is being blocked for non-authorized vehicles in an effort to enhance pedestrian safety in the highly congested area. 

A UK police officer and parking attendants have been stationed at the intersection since Tuesday afternoon diverting traffic and directing drivers to alternate parking locations nearby. 

The decision to take immediate action was made after Parking and Transportation Services did a traffic study. An attendant spent an entire day in the area monitoring all through traffic and gathered information and numbers to constructively understand the cause of the majority of the traffic coming through. 

The study showed that most of the traffic outside of the Chemistry-Physics Building was from students either being picked up or dropped off on the street for their classes. 

The results also showed that many drivers in the area were lost or were trying to get to UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital or the Kentucky Clinic. Maps are being provided for alternate routes to these locations by the attendants stationed on Rose Street.

UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said that because of the consistent flow of pedestrian traffic through the area, UK sees it as a major safety concern. “The goal is to try to change pedestrian safety,” she said. “Because of [the study], we are wanting now to limit traffic through to only UK authorized vehicles.”

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Authorized vehicles include delivery and official vehicles, accessible space parkers and people with reserved department permits, Johnson said. No time limit has been set for how long the street will be closed for non-authorized vehicles, but the UK Police Department and Parking and Transportation Services want to make this a permanent solution, Johnson said. 

The “pick-up, drop-off” is the main cause of the congestion on Rose Street. Students are being picked up from their classes in the surrounding buildings or dropped off to go to class. The constant stop-and-go has made the area a hazardous environment for pedestrians and also other vehicles. 

Bailey Watkins, a high school student with an internship in the Funkhouser Building, was stopped at the intersection of Rose Street and Columbia Avenue on Wednesday afternoon by a parking attendant and was unable to be dropped off in front of the building as usual. 

“My dad usually drops me off in front of the building, but it is really no problem for me just to walk,” Watkins said. 

Director of Strategic Analysis at UK Melody Flowers said that the attendants intend to be out on the street diverting traffic in the area for as long as it takes to correct the situation. She hopes their efforts “will make a difference.”

“The students, faculty and staff are our top priority,” she said. “It became obvious that action needed to be taken. This is a good thing that the university is doing. It shows that we are out there monitoring and trying to make the area as safe as possible for our students, faculty and staff.”