Sewanee: ADA Compliance, University Avenue Redesign, Snow

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Jan. 22 Zoom meeting, the Sewanee Community Council learned about plans for increasing ADA compliant parking and the University Avenue redesign being pursued. The council also received an overview of how the campus deals with severe snow and ice conditions and University plans for future preparedness.

Asked to speak on ADA accessible parking, especially for access to All Saint’s Chapel, ADA Director Matt Brown said restoring some ADA accessible parking on University Avenue was under consideration. Brown explained renovation of the Wellness Complex resulted in five of six parking spaces on University Avenue being moved to the rear of the building. “We realized we had an issue when an employee broke her foot and couldn’t get to the building,” Brown said.

Elaborating, Acting Provost Scott Wilson said he had been in conversation with a civil engineer about reconfiguring the bike lanes and adding three or four ADA compliant parking spaces between the Wellness Complex and the Chapel to facilitate accessibility to those locations as well as to McClurg Dining Hall. The University Avenue “redesign” would need to be approved first by the Franklin County Road Commission then the Franklin County Commission. Wilson hoped for progress by the fall.

Brown encouraged community members to report barriers to ADA accessibility using the University website form on the ADA page (ADA Report A Barrier). He stressed configuring ADA parking needed to take into consideration both the distance to the destination and number of spots.

Robert Benton, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, provided an overview of snow removal practices and the impact of the recent severe storm. “The state typically takes care of the highway from the interstate to the hospital, and then they try to help us on University Avenue,” Benton said. “The counties try to help us the best they can, but the counties were overwhelmed due to the extreme nature of the storm. Midway through the week Grundy County said, ‘we can’t help anymore.’ We learned a lot.” Equipment purchased in 1992 was nearing the end of its useful life, according to Benton, and purchasing deicing equipment was being considered.

A resident suggested reaching out to community partners and asking the sand plant to supply sand to improve traction. Benton explained sand would clog the sewer drains creating a future problem. Wilson said the University Emergency Management Team planned to meet to strategize “how to better position ourselves for the next storm.”

Reporting on the Traffic Safety Committee formed several months ago, council member Michael Payne stressed the importance of establishing criteria to evaluate traffic flow, citing the impact on bikes, pedestrians, and cars; the volume and speed of traffic; and whether or not there were sidewalks. The committee had discussed the benefits of “speed humps” which cost less than sidewalks and slowed traffic flow without negatively impacting the speed of emergency vehicles. Franklin County Road Commissioner Johnny Hughes had questioned if speed humps would impede snow removal. Payne suggested Sewanee might consider a “test case” with speed humps on a few streets and having a professional analyze Sewanee’s traffic safety. Superintendent of Leases and Community Relations Sallie Green said a small amount of funding might be available from the Community Service budget.

The council appointed Payne to serve on the Agenda Committee, replacing John Solomon whose term ended. The committee reviews potential agenda items submitted for the council’s consideration to determine if the topic is one the council should address or if the subject should be referred to another entity.

The annual community trash pick-up is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, with the starting time tentatively 9 a.m. at the Mountain Goat Trailhead.

The council meets next March 25.

2024 February
2024 January
2023 December
2023 November
2023 October
2023 September
2023 August
2023 July
2023 June
2023 May
2023 April
2023 March
2023 February
2023 January
2022 December
2022 November
2022 October
2022 September
2022 August
2022 July
2022 June
2022 May
2022 April
2022 March
2022 February
2022 January
2021 December
2021 November
2021 October
2021 September
2021 August
2021 July
2021 June
2021 May
2021 April
2021 March
2021 February
2021 January
2020 December
2020 November
2020 October
2020 September
2020 August
2020 July
2020 June
2020 May
2020 April
2020 March
2020 February
2020 January
2019 December
2019 November
2019 October
2019 September
2019 August
2019 July
2019 June
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 September
2018 August
2018 July
2018 June
2018 May
2018 April
2018 March
2018 February
2018 January
2017 December
2017 November
2017 October
2017 September
2017 August
2017 July
2017 June
2017 May
2017 April
2017 March
2017 February
2017 January
2016 December
2016 November
2016 October
2016 September
2016 August
2016 July
2016 June
2016 May
2016 April
2016 March
2016 February
2016 January
2015 December
2015 November
2015 October
2015 September
2015 August
2015 July
2015 June
2015 May
2015 April
2015 March
2015 February
2015 January
2014 December
2014 November
2014 October
2014 September
2014 August
2014 July
2014 June
2014 May
2014 April
2014 March
2014 February
2014 January
2013 December
2013 November
2013 October
2013 September
2013 August
2013 July
2013 June
2013 May
2013 April
2013 March
2013 February
2013 January
2012 December
2012 November
2012 October
2012 September
2012 August
2012 July
2012 June
2012 May
2012 April
2012 March
2012 February
2012 January
2011 December
2011 November
2011 October
2011 September
2011 August
2011 July
2011 June
2011 May
2011 April
2011 March
2011 February
2011 January
2010 December
2010 November
2010 October
2010 September
2010 August
2010 July
2010 June
2010 May