SOUTH BEND - Notre Dame is trying to convince its neighbors that changes to Douglas Rd. along the north end of campus won't be as bad as they might think.
The university plans to push a section of Douglas Rd. farther north, as part of a broader plan to make the area safer for pedestrians and more attractive to visitors.
They’d add roundabouts and widen the lanes, as well as make the road more bicycle-friendly.
Planners tried to sell the idea to neighbors during a meeting, Tuesday evening.
Among their concerns -- increased traffic and worries about the design attracting more cyclists, who will end up back on nearby roads with no room for them.
“They ride late, their clothing is dark, they don't have lights on their bikes and many a time I’ve chanced upon one,” said Kathy Large, who lives nearby.
Others voiced the same concern and are still waiting for an answer.
“They did not come up with a solution in my mind, no,” said Large.
And then there's the perception that Notre Dame just keeps creeping in on the surrounding community.
The school, however, says its goal is to make better use of the space it already owns, while giving drivers and pedestrians a more useful way around campus.
“I think you'll find this maybe more convenient. I hope you will. That's certainly our intent,” said Doug Marsh, Associate Vice President for Facilities Design and Operations.
According to Marsh, the university will pay for the whole relocation project.
If all goes as planned, drivers will be on a new road by the end of next summer, he said.
The county council still has to approve. That process starts next month, and neighbors will have another opportunity to tell the decision-makers what they like, and don't like, about the project.