Got a complaint (or fix) for Osborn Drive? Please share.

A line of students cross Osborn Drive as CyRide buses make stops

Osborn Drive is a busy place during class passing periods. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Osborn Drive is a graphic example of the effects of six years of record-breaking enrollment at Iowa State. Between classes, the road that skirts the north edge of central campus teems with pedestrians, bicycles, skateboards, cars, delivery trucks and buses.

Several ideas for reducing congestion and improving safety on the street are under discussion. But before settling on a solution, university planners want to hear from faculty, staff and students who frequently use Osborn.

"It's often difficult for people to adapt to road changes, even minor ones," said Cathy Brown, assistant director for planning in facilities planning and management (FPM). "Before we begin making significant changes on Osborn, we want members of the university community to help us weigh current options and offer their own ideas."

Input stations April 23

Input gathering begins in earnest Thursday, April 23, when university staff and transportation consultants host three drop-in sessions -- two outside and another in the Memorial Union. Representatives from FPM and SRF Consulting, the firm assisting in the Osborn project, will staff the sessions. They'll share some of the proposed Osborn Drive fixes and gather input. The open sessions will be held:

  • 9-10:30 a.m., Tent at Osborn Drive and Stange Road
  • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., On the south side of Parks Library
  • 1:30-3 p.m., Memorial Union Pioneer Room

Some Osborn options

The options thus far come from several groups studying Osborn traffic. FPM staff, SRF consultants and College of Design classes have been brainstorming Osborn Drive solutions for some time. Proposals include:

  • Moving bus routes to outside lanes
  • Removing street parking
  • Prohibiting delivery vehicles during class changes
  • Adding bike paths
  • Widening sidewalks

The last option will be partially underway soon. A sidewalk-widening project (along the north side of Osborn Drive, between Morrill Road and Science I) is scheduled this summer.

The other options will be the object of more study and input this spring. Brown encourages Osborn users to be part of the solution by participating in the open sessions next week.

Ideas and comments also can be submitted by completing a short survey.  The survey will be available through May 8.