2000-2001 Year-end Committee Reports
reports were presented at Council last spring.
Final reports for Community Relations,
Benefits, Pluralism, Quality
of Student Life, and Safety and Security,
were given to Almanac recently for publication.
Report published November 7, 2000;
Discussed at Council November 15, 2000
committee met five times this academic year. The committee was charged
with the following responsibilities:
the Campus Development Plan
To review the University's relationship with Trammell Crow
To appoint a Transportation sub-committee
Report on Campus Development
committee's first two meetings were devoted to the Campus Development
Plan, and the committee reported its comments on that plan to Council
in November. We shall not review that matter
Report on Trammell Crow
years ago the University out-sourced much of its facilities management
to Trammell Crow. At that time about 140 employees were "outsourced".
But last year most of the outsourcing was reversed. Now there are
only 30 to 40 "outsourced" employees. These are registered
engineers or architects involved in facilities planning, for the
most part off-campus facilities planning. These professional employees
are needed at the moment because the University is in the midst
of a very vigorous building phase, a phase which will pass. By outsourcing
facilities planning the University can accomplish its planning goals
during such a phase without having to fire employees when the pace
of construction slows. Vice President for Facilities Management
Omar Blaik allowed as how the University had no intention of reversing
itself again and once again outsourcing the other aspects of Facilities
Transportation and Traffic
Committee has reviewed a number of issues and problems relating
to transportation, traffic and parking in the campus area. This
is a summary of events, Committee's analyses and recommendations
System and Policy
major events concerning the overall transportation system in the
campus area took place this year.
Campus Master Plan including transportation policy and infrastructure
has been completed by the Olin Partnership. Its implementation is
now the next task for the University.
recommendations of this, Facilities Committee from the last two
years, the University has appointed Mr. Charles Newman as a coordinator
for all transportation activities on the Campus. Mr. Newman has
established a Transportation Coordinating Committee to coordinate
all actions and external relations with respect to transportation.
The Committee has already been meeting. It has defined its mission
and domain of activity.We hope and expect that the existence of
this Committee will greatly improve coordination of activities,
increase efficiency and avoid uncoordinated actions and contacts
with external bodies dealing with transportation, such as the City's
Department of Streets and SEPTA.
recent resurfacing, new pavement markings, bike lanes, and introduction
of curb parking on Walnut and 33rd Streets have resulted in significant
improvements, particularly in the reduction of traffic speed and
the safety hazard that high speeds had represented.
city's introduction of pedestrian signals at the intersections of
Chestnut and Walnut Streets has improved pedestrian convenience
and safety. However, this job should be completed by installing
pedestrian signals also on cross streets, rather than only for crossing
Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
"Right Turn on Red" allowance is hazardous for pedestrians,
and it should be discontinued in the campus area (just as it is
being eliminated in Center City). Signs saying "No Turns on
Red" should be installed at all intersections and on the existing
signs with this message and an added note "6 a.m. to 6 p.m."
this note on time limit should be eliminated.
The intersection of Spruce Street and Convention Boulevard, which
has many pedestrians, has no visible pedestrian crossings across
Spruce Street on either side of the intersection. Hazardous conditions
for pedestrians are a daily phenomenon and a serious accident may
happen at any time. It is the responsibility of the City's Streets
Department as well as the University to correct this situation at
once by painting the pedestrian crossings and posting the "No
Turn on Red" signs at appropriate locations.
Three major pedestrian crossings in the campus area are not only
inconvenient for pedestrians, but also directly dangerous for both
pedestrians and motorists. They are on 33rd and 34th Streets, and
on Convention Boulevard at SEPTA's station, where over 400 pedestrians
cross the 40-foot wide street every day without any protection or
is urgent that these crossings be designed as pedestrian crossings
with "Yield to pedestrians" signs for vehicular traffic.
They should be slightly raised and marked accordingly, as specified
in numerous traffic engineering manuals.
Street between 34th and 38th Streets has been carefully redesigned
with cooperation between the City and University. Implementation
of this design is scheduled for this summer.
on the recommendations of the Campus Master Plan, a thorough reevaluation
of the policy toward off-street parking facilities should be made.
In particular, there should be an examination of the question of
whether any additional parking garages should be built in the campus
area. Allocation of the existing capacities among faculty, employees,
students and visitors should be carefully reconsidered and revised.
the Committee considers it to be inappropriate (as has been suggested)
to build a new garage on the northwest corner of Chestnut and 34th
Streets for several reasons. First, the traffic it would generate
would increase already congested 34th Street. Second, that location
is immediately next to the SEPTA's Market Street Line Station. It
would be contrary to sound transportation policies to encourage
driving to the campus by car where public transportation access
is very good and convenient. And third, the garage across the street
from this location already has major backups for cars exiting during
peak hours; that condition would deteriorate further.
Transportation Coordinating Committee should prepare a program for
increasing the use of transit, specifically, SEPTA services for
access to and from the campus, as well as in the campus area (such
as LUCY service). This would increase accessibility and attractiveness
of the campus and decrease pressures of street congestion and excessive
of measures to increase use of transit include, from short- to long-term
with SEPTA and arrange inclusion of student SEPTA passes with
PENN ID cards.
information about services, particularly rail lines not visible
on the streets: such as Blue and Green lines.
up a large stairway and plaza for the Green Line station at Sansom
Common to make it more attractive for the excellent service provided:
trolleys every few minutes to Center City and to four long lines
serving the entire West Philadelphia.
34th Street Station of the Blue Line to make it an attractive
access point to the University; change its name to the University
of Pennsylvania station.
safety for pedestrians at all intersections by improving pavement
markings, signing, signals and police supervision to control discipline
of both vehicles and pedestrians.
pedestrian crossings midblock on 33rd, 34th Street and Convention
Boulevard to well marked, raised crosswalks with "Stop for
signs, as mentioned above.
the pedestrian path from 33rd and Chestnut to 34th and Walnut Streets
so that it can be built as soon as the Blau House is torn down.
bicycle lanes on Spruce Street sidewalk under the Franklin Field
arches for westbound travel and on the south sidewalk of Walnut
Street for eastbound travel. These will be demonstration installations
for improving bicycle traffic and reduce its conflicts with pedestrians.
The City is agreeable to their installation.
bicycle storage racks so that they are better utilized. A plan for
such reallocation exists and the task is rather simple.
Systematically educate bicyclists about traffic laws and then introduce
enforcement of bicycle regulations by direct police actions and
fines. Without enforcement, no bicycle regulations will be effective.
Committee on Facilities has begun to look into the state of classrooms.
About a decade ago, the Provost created the Provost's classroom
committee and funded it at $1M. Its charge was to upgrade the technology
in the Provost's central pool classrooms to make them state of the
art. But unfortunately, funding was not provided to improve or even
maintain the infrastructure of the buildings of which these classrooms
are a part. Thus one faces the prospect of wading through floodwaters
in Williams Hall's basement in order to get to the thoroughly modern
media center. Or, one is unable to take advantage of the technology
in Classrooms in Williams or Stiteler Hall because the excessive
heat in the rooms has driven the class out of doors. In response
to this lack of adequate funding for infrastructure, the Provost's
Classroom Committee has been diverting approximately 20% of its
$1M to infrastructure improvements. But, a) this 20% is woefully
inadequate, and b) using the technology funds in this manner leaves
much too little for the original purpose of the fund-- especially
since it remains at the same $1M with which it started uncorrected
for cost-of-living increases over the last decade. The Classroom
Committee cannot meet the recent SCUE report's call for increased
technology in the classrooms, while paying to have the windows replaced
so they no longer leak on the equipment.
hopes that in the near future the Committee on Facilities will,
a) Investigate the magnitude of the classroom infrastructure problem,
and, b) With the help of the Central Administration, find a way
to fund the necessary work.
John Sabini, Chair
2000-2001 Council Committee
(Psychology). Faculty: Eugenie Birch (City & Regional
Planning), Dawn Bonnell (Materials Science & Engineering),
David Brownlee (History of Art), Susan Gennaro (Nursing), Melvyn
Hammarberg (Anthropology), James Larkin (Education), Vukan Vuchic
(Systems Engineering). Graduate/professional students:
Alan Chun, Laurie Dougherty. Undergraduate students: Robert
Pyne, Josh Seeherman. PPSA: Helene Lee (Facilities Planning),
Thomas McCoy (Telecommunications), Laura Peller, (Environmental
Health & Radiation Safety). A-3: Paul R. Marchesano
(Chemistry). Ex officio: Omar Blaik (Facilities Services),
Alice Nagle (Committee for an Accessible University), Ronald Sanders
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 6, October 2, 2001