Brooke Hurley (email@example.com)
As the weather begins to warm-up and the Collegeville community becomes more active outside, the need for walkability and enjoyment of the surrounding area increases. However, the constant ruckus, detours, and long lines of traffic created by the sidewalk construction along Main Street has limited this ability for students and Collegeville residents. The worn out sidewalks were in fact due for an update, but was now the time to do it?
The construction began around the start of the Ursinus spring semester. As students came back to campus, the first weeks in January, nearly the entire sidewalk on the campus side of Main Street had been ripped apart and closed for construction. The inconvenience of the sidewalks being closed during this time has been noticed by many students across campus, especially those living in Main Street homes. “At first it was extremely inconvenient, having to walk through campus to get to Starbucks for breakfast made my morning wake up call a little longer. Now, we just walk on the sidewalk that is not under construction and cross right in front of the Commons. It still takes longer and can be annoying when you are in a rush, especially when we first came back to campus,” said Mariah Lesh, a senior who resides on Main Street. Because of the popularity of the Starbucks located in the new Schellhase Commons, the sidewalk is used by students living on Main Street daily.
Not only do students find it inconvenient for walking around campus, the constant noise and excessive traffic backups have also raised frustration. “The timing is very inconvenient, most of the machines and loud construction is done between 7-9 am and then stops for the rest of the day. It’s really frustrating when I have Zoom calls early in the morning or even trying to sleep in,” stated Olivia DeBonte ‘22, a resident of Hobson Hall.
Although the new sidewalks were necessary to the revitalization of Collegeville, the month-long inconvenience that the construction has created makes students wonder, could this have been done prior to the start of the semester or during the summer when the majority of students are home?
As we go into the final week of February, the construction is just beginning to wrap up with fresh new sidewalks. The ability to have new sidewalks is appreciated.