Closing Boyett on busiest nights makes Northgate safer

By Gus Roman, Assistant Director of Community Services

If you’ve ever driven through the Northgate Entertainment District on a Friday or Saturday night, you know it’s an immensely popular place for college students to get revved up for Aggie football or just unwind after a long week of classes.

You also know it can be an extraordinarily dangerous place for unwary pedestrians. With more than 60,000 students walking, driving and bicycling around campus, safety has to be the top priority for local authorities.

The city has worked closely with Texas A&M and The Texas Department of Transportation to devise and implement various safety improvements along University Drive. In 2012, Old College Main was closed at University Drive, and we added a bicycle and pedestrian crossing.

Still, with one of the nation’s most populous universities across the street, pedestrian safety remains a dominant issue – especially at the intersection of University and Boyett Street.

Despite the presence of a signalized crosswalk, many pedestrians blatantly ignore the signal and haphazardly move through the bustling traffic. Meanwhile, ride-booking services and taxis often stop in traffic lanes to serve their customers.

We may not be able to stop that reckless behavior, but we can try to reduce the risk.

That’s why starting this week, Boyett Street will be closed between University Drive and Patricia Street from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The intersection will also be closed Wednesday, Aug. 29, the night before the Aggie football opener against Northwestern State. No parking will be allowed on the sealed portion of Boyett.

The closure includes the area in front of Shiner Park, O’Bannon’s Tap House and a few other bars, along with two entrances to the corner convenience store.

Whenever Boyett is closed, the southern row of the Northgate parking lot will serve as a designated loading area for ride-booking customers. To help traffic flow, we renumbered and restriped the lot to accommodate angled spaces. Plenty of additional parking is available in the city’s Northgate Parking Garage, which has more than 700 affordable spaces.

These adjustments may be inconvenient for some, but in the end, we’ll have a safer, more pedestrian-friendly environment in Northgate.

 


About the Blogger

Gus Roman has been with the City of College Station since 2015 and has served as assistant director of community services since 2016. He’s also worked for the City of San Marcos and the City of Bryan. Gus previously served the City of College Station from 1995-2003. He has two degrees from Texas A&M – a bachelor’s in building construction (1989) and a master’s in agriculture, land economics and real estate (2006).


 

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4 responses

  1. keaswaran

    I’m glad to hear about the city deciding to open Boyett St to pedestrians sometimes, instead of keeping it off-limits to people outside of cars 24/7.

    Is there any way for the city to try to make University Drive a safer place? It’s really an unfortunate accident of history that we have a 6-8 lane state highway running between a campus of 60,000 students, and their main destination. With speed limits of 45 mph, very long light cycles, and many missing sidewalks (or sidewalks sandwiched between high-speed traffic and garages), University Drive feels a lot more like it’s intended as an efficient way to flush large numbers of cars quickly, rather than being a porous boundary between a university and the student neighborhoods.

    Of course, anything done to improve the pedestrian experience along University Drive is going to require removing some cars from the street, and the biggest thing to help with that is to stop requiring so much parking in all of the new student housing going up next to campus. There should be no need for students to drive for distances less than a mile, but every garage that is built tempts more students into their cars (not to mention that those several floors of garage could easily have been filled with more apartments, to help keep rent increases down).

    August 6, 2018 at 11:37 am

    • Colin Killian

      Reply from Gus Roman:

      Thanks for your comments! The city has worked closely with Texas A&M and the Texas Department of Transportation, which maintains University Drive, to devise and implement many safety improvements. In 2012, Old College Main was closed permanently at University, a pedestrian and bicycle crossing was added, and the sidewalk along University was widened and protected from traffic.

      In December, the city council approved a $6 million contract for additional safety and mobility improvements along University from College Main to South College Avenue/Bizzell Street. Sidewalks on the north side of University are being widened, median islands are being constructed, and traffic signals are being replaced and will have enhanced pedestrian timings.

      We assure you that safety in the Northgate area remains a top priority for us and our partners.

      August 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

  2. Pingback: Closing Boyett on busiest nights makes Northgate safer | The Scene

  3. Pingback: Boyett Street Closing During Peak Weekend Hours at Northgate - WTAW | WTAW

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