NAU taking action on pressing traffic issues, weighs parking concerns

NAU is taking steps to move traffic more smoothly while helping pedestrians and bicyclists move safely.

The complete view

A new plan to help ease traffic congestion and increase bicycle and pedestrian safety includes 10 projects.

  1. University Drive at Reilly Hall-Enhance crosswalk and possibly add stop sign
  2. Pine Knoll Drive-Add bus-only lane
  3. Runke Drive (near ROTC and Property Control)-Block thru-traffic for future site of NAUPD patrol car lot.
  4. Tormey and Knoles-Add bike lanes
  5. Study university parking and transit needs to possibly add bus routes and additional parking lots.
  6. Knoles Drive and McConnell-Add southbound right-turn lane; reconfigure bus stop area
  7. San Francisco and University-Add southbound right-turn lane
  8. University Drive at pedway and McKay Village-Time traffic signal to allow thru-traffic until pedestrians push “walk” button
  9. Parking lot 16 (across from Cline Library)-Add entrance-only access so that northbound traffic can turn into P16 before going to the stop sign at the Cline entrance. Southbound traffic
    would enter the parking lot on the north side.
  10. P23/P24 Transit Spine-Add bus-only access

NAU also is addressing parking issues that will arise once certain construction projects are under way, such as the new Health and Wellness Center near Lumberjack Stadium that is being funded primarily through previously approved student fees.

The traffic and parking project will enhance and increase crosswalks, add turn lanes to better move traffic and increase the number of bike lanes. The university also is studying on-campus and nearby parking that could alleviate overcrowding.

The university is working to provide temporary parking lots adjacent to campus for staff and students displaced by construction.

However, an immediate 10-part plan to ease traffic congestion and provide pedestrian and bike safety will begin this month and should be completed by the end of the academic year.

Some of the more noticeable projects include:

  • The crosswalk from Reilly Hall across University Drive will be enhanced and a stop sign for drivers may be added.
  • The traffic signal on University Drive near the pedway at McKay Village will be timed to allow cars to move through the crosswalk until pedestrians push the “walk” button.
  • Pine Knoll Drive, near the large parking lots on south campus, will have a bus-only lane added.
  • Knoles Drive near Tormey (west of Old Main) will have bike lanes added.
  • Southbound Knoles Drive at McConnell will have a right-turn lane added.
  • Bus-only access will be added from parking lot 23 to P24 near the NAU Bookstore. The access is an initial phase NAU’s plans to create a transit spine through campus.

The projects are scheduled to begin soon, weather permitting. A complete list can be found here.

Other plans call for private development in 2010 of a 1,000-space parking structure on the existing site of the Fronske Health Center. A 450-space parking structure at San Francisco and Franklin also is in the initial planning stages and is contingent upon available funds.

Send questions about the changes to