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Douglas Road reroute disgregards families

Tim Cantu | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Notre Dame’s decision to reroute Douglas Road directly past University Village Graduate Student Housing demonstrates a shocking disregard for the opinions and concerns that its married families might have about the change.
In July, an ABC-57 story detailed the proposed change. Tim Sexton, associate vice president for public affairs, said, “We should get the results [of an engineering study] back late September, early October and we are looking forward to sitting down with the county and discussing them further, and of course sharing those findings with the community.”
On Tuesday night, the University held a meeting with University Village residents to inform us of the plans for the proposed road, rather than to hear and address our concerns. I suppose this meeting was technically “sharing those findings with the community,” but this is not what many of us were hoping for.
The residents here almost all have children. Many of us have serious concerns about this rerouting in relation to our safety and our children’s safety, both because of increased traffic along what will now be a four-lane road and because of the decreased privacy because of the new road’s drastically closer position to our homes.
The area around University Village, like much of South Bend, is prone to crime problems. The relative seclusion of University Village insulates it from some of these problems and it is currently a safe place to live. This plan is highly likely to negatively influence those advantages, as it will install a four-lane road directly adjacent to an apartment complex where over 100 children live.
Rather than work with us to address our concerns, the response from the University has been that their proposed measures are adequate.
The University assured us there would be an opportunity to give feedback on their proposal and offer our concerns, yet aside from a meeting that functioned to inform us of their plan, this has not occurred.
Tim Cantu
law student
off campus
Oct. 22