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COUNCIL 2000-2001 Year-end Committee Reports

The following reports were presented at Council last spring.
Final reports for Community Relations, Facilities, Personnel Benefits, Pluralism, Quality of Student Life, and Safety and Security, were given to
Almanac recently for publication.


April 2, 2001

Interim Report published November 7, 2000;
Discussed at Council November 15, 2000

The committee met five times this academic year. The committee was charged with the following responsibilities:

To review the Campus Development Plan
To review the University's relationship with Trammell Crow
To appoint a Transportation su

Report on Campus Development

The 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 here.

Report on Trammell Crow

Some 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 Management.

Transportation and Traffic

The 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 for actions.

Transportation System and Policy

Two major events concerning the overall transportation system in the campus area took place this year.

A 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.

Following 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.

Streets and Traffic

The 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.

The 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.

The "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 markings.

It 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.

Spruce 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.

Parking Garages

Based 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.

Specifically 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.

Public Transportation

The 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 parking facilities.

Examples of measures to increase use of transit include, from short- to long-term ones:

  • Discuss with SEPTA and arrange inclusion of student SEPTA passes with PENN ID cards.
  • Better information about services, particularly rail lines not visible on the streets: such as Blue and Green lines.
  • Open 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.
  • Adopt 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.

Pedestrian Traffic

Increase safety for pedestrians at all intersections by improving pavement markings, signing, signals and police supervision to control discipline of both vehicles and pedestrians.

Upgrade pedestrian crossings midblock on 33rd, 34th Street and Convention Boulevard to well marked, raised crosswalks with "Stop for

pedestrians" signs, as mentioned above.

Design 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.


Paint 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.

Relocate bicycle storage racks so that they are better utilized. A plan for such reallocation exists and the task is rather simple.

3.6.3 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.


The 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.

One 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 on Facilities

Chair: John Sabini (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 (Registrar).

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 6, October 2, 2001


October 2, 2001
Volume 48 Number 6

Dr. Lerman appointed associate director for Cancer Control and Population Science and director of the Tobacco Research program at the Leonard & Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
$2.1 million grant to introduce advanced security features into standard office PCs.
Dennis DeTurck, Srilata Gangulee and Alton Strange will serve the Colleges Houses this year.
The new director for public serves at the Library is Sandra Kerbel.
Wharton as appointed Steven Oliveira as associate dean for External Affairs.
UCD has announced it's new executive director.
Deadlines are announced for Pilot and Feasibility Grants, Trustees' Council Grants, Robert Bosch Fellowships and Luce Scholars Program
Year-end Council reports: Community Relations; Facilities; Personnel Benefits; Pluralism; Quality of Student Life; and Safety and Security.
A new Temporary Staffing Services has a new vendor; EHRS has Training for October and Annual Tuberculosis Screening is now available.
Steinhardt Hall, the new Hillel Center breaks ground.