Street changes add safety, greater movement to east side of campus

The aerial map shows the streets in purple now under GCU ownership.

The only street that extends border to border on Grand Canyon University’s campus now is under the ownership of the University.

GCU acquired north 29th Avenue from the city of Phoenix in a Phoenix City Council meeting earlier in July.

It means no non-GCU traffic will be allowed, other than those associated with adjacent private property.

The change will increase campus security, allow for more freedom of movement within the campus, and increase the appeal of the street that runs north and south, from west Camelback Road to north Missouri Avenue, and connects several new student housing projects of recent years on the east side.

GCU also took over ownership of the east-west west Colter Street from near north 29th Avenue to north 27th Avenue.

GCU had petitioned the city and met several stipulations from city planning departments to take over the streets.

“We did a traffic study, and there wasn’t a lot of traffic. Some people used to cut through to the neighborhood to the north, but they will no longer be able to do that,” said Vice President of Facilities Planning and Operations James Kossler. “We don’t have to worry about non-GCU traffic not familiar with campus or students on skateboards, so it will make it safer.”

The move was welcomed by GCU Public Safety Director James Jackson.

“It’s great for us. It will allow us to make a perimeter ... And it will be safer for bicyclists, for skateboarders and for pedestrians on 29th Avenue,” he said.

The perimeter will be set with guard booths to be added on north 29th Avenue and west Missouri Avenue and north 29th Avenue and west Camelback Road, the campus' north and south edges, and one on west Colter Street and north 27th Avenue. Several guard booths in the campus interior can now be eliminated. Those changes will be completed in August.

“It will also allow us to open gates so students don’t have to be funneled into one area,” Kossler said. “It will allow greater freedom of movement from (the new) Copper Apartments to the canal (in the middle of campus),” he said.

Kossler also said the change will allow GCU to make improvements along 29th Avenue, such as vegetation, a wheels lane and sidewalks to “make it look less like a city street and more part of campus.”

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected]

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