UI correct to rethink plan for central campus parking

We're not expert enough to know whether The Georgian, a 27-unit apartment building at 1005 S. Sixth St., C, really is worthy of placement on the National Register of Historic Places. The Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council recently recommended that the three-story building, completed in 1925 during a University of Illinois campus building boom, be included on the national register.

Its inclusion might have made it more difficult for the UI to demolish the structure and replace it with a 900-space parking deck.

But it appears that doesn't matter anyway.

The UI wisely has decided not to build a parking deck at Sixth and Chalmers streets, not because it might result in the razing of The Georgian but because building another parking deck in the center of the campus district doesn't make sense.

UI officials have talked for years about the need to move vehicle traffic to the campus periphery, a concern heightened in recent months after a UI student was struck and killed by a Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus. Ironically, the accident occurred just across the street from where the parking deck would have been erected. Building a multistory parking deck in an already congested area amid a maze of narrow, one-way streets would have been imprudent as well as contrary to various campus plans.

University officials made the right call on this issue. And university spokeswoman Robin Kaler acknowledged that "(w)ell be moving parking further away from the core" of campus, which should ease concerns about traffic safety and congestion.

There have been occasions in the past when UI officials weren't so responsive to public concerns. This time they were, and that is to their credit.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion
Categories (2):Editorials, Opinions

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