While Largely a Pedestrian Campus, Vehicles and Parking Make Walking Difficult in Some Locations

POSTED: Sep. 28, 2017

The Kent Campus is largely a pedestrian campus, despite its linear form.  It’s a mile from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design to Stewart Hall.   The Esplanade helps to unite the south edge of campus and provides excellent wayfinding.  PARTA transit helps connect the campus core to distant parking, Dix Stadium, and the Allerton Sports Complex. 

Yet vehicles intrude into the pedestrian environment in two ways. There are multiple conflict points between pedestrians and vehicles, most prominently along the Esplanade.

Pedestrian Network Hierarchy and Gaps

The parking that vehicles require also makes walking more difficult by spreading out destinations, and parking damages the character of the campus.  The Kent Campus has no parking garages, and thus surface parking asphalt is spread throughout campus.  The most prominent parking lots are in the front campus in front of Rockwell Hall, north of White Hall along Main Street, and along both sides of Summit Street at the campus’s “front door” at the Student Green. 

The campus has enough parking spaces, but they are not in the locations where campus users want them. The activity of the front campus area generates more parking demand than there is supply.  Expansive areas of parking east of Loop Road go unused much of the time.

Road Network. Imperviousness.

Do you find it easy or difficult to move around campus?  Where is it particularly difficult for you to walk?


"Rick Hawksley: I appreciate"

Rick Hawksley: I appreciate all the effort that has gone into the pedestrian network on Campus. Due to inattentive drivers and visibility issues, I believe that the next wave of work needs to include intersection enhancements throughout campus, along campus and into downtown. We especially need better lighting and signals to make pedestrians more visible and to alert drivers they are approaching intersections. Speed reading signs and even enforcement cameras may be needed to penalize speeders and enhance the culture of the pedestrian

"Pamela Viers: Buses are great"

Pamela Viers: Buses are great, but they only provide circular transportation. If you are at Williams Hall and need to get to Cartwright Hall, the bus will make a big summit to loop to Rt 59 to Lincoln and takes quite a while. If there were some way to make it possible to provide trams or a trolley that goes from Summit Street straight across to 59 making a few stops and then turning around and returning it would be great for those of us who have only a few minutes to cross campus, have trouble walking quickly to get to classes and meetings, or who need to bring a heavy object (continued ...)

"(Continued ...) with us and"

(Continued ...) with us and driving the outline of the campus means taking a car-which is not the best use of our vehicles.

"Erica Cope: As a kent state"

Erica Cope: As a kent state Alum, i can say that you are actually wrong. There is not enough parking on campus. It never once bothered me that i had a long walk to class. The exercise is actually healthy. Instead of taking out parking lots, we need more on campus. Or create some parking garages. But dont take out any parking lots, unless it’s to turn it into a dorm since there isnt enough of those either.

"Jeff S.: While I love the"

Jeff S.: While I love the effort of making Kent more accessible to pedestrians, I also think there isn't enough parking, and there's even less now that the green has been put in. I do think looking at office parks and universities that have implemented pedestrian friendly campuses can be beneficial. Many of these have a central area, such as Kent's campus, and have parking decks around it. Google HQ and Facebook HQ would be perfect examples of this: the campus is surrounded by high-density parking, but the central parts of campus are pedestrian only.