safety of students and staff is always among my primary concerns at
Ozarks, and I believe that we have made a number of changes on campus
the past four years to ensure your well-being. Two areas paralleling
campus still trouble me, however, and we are doing our best to make
those as safe as possible: College Avenue (State Highway 103) and Johnson
Street. Each roadway mixes a high level of pedestrian movement with
heavy vehicle traffic, and that is a dangerous mix.
Johnson Street now has flashing yellow lights to
alert drivers, new crossing signage, and striped pedestrian walkways.
The City of Clarksville generously assisted us with this important project.
For those of you who drive on that street, please be aware of the speed
Last December, several of us met with three senior
officials of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
As College Avenue is a State Highway, it is within their jurisdiction.Because
of our campus expansion, building, and renovation, we have a dramatic
increase in the numbers of people who walk back and forth daily across
College Avenue, and we were seeking advice on how to make it a safer
walk. As a result of our discussions, we will be adding flashing lights
at both entry points to the campus, increasing the warning signage,
repaving College Avenue, and making the pedestrian walkways more prominent.
The State Highway officials requested that we eliminate
parking on College Avenue due to the reduced visibility caused by the
parked cars and students having to dart across the street from between
those cars. To honor their request, we have posted No Parking
signs in front of Cary-Wortz Hall and the tennis courts. I know that
this will cause an inconvenience, especially since some of the parking
on that part of the campus is being used for the construction of Walker
Hall, but I am asking for your cooperation and patience with this. Next
summer we will develop curbing and landscaped islands in front of Cary-Wortz
Hall and the tennis courts. We are also designing plans to upgrade the
parking around MacLean Hall and to make it as accessible and attractive
as the Smith-King parking area.
All of this is being done with your safety and well-being
in mind. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Rick Niece