Campus Master Plan | 2011
Click here for a full PDF copy of the UTEP Campus Master Plan

Pedestrian Circulation

Existing Pedestrian Circulation

The topography of the UTEP campus, the historical pattern of its development, and natural features such as the Arroyo impact the campus's pedestrian circulation system in both positive and negative ways. The primary components of the pedestrian circulation system within the Core Campus are the sidewalks of Wiggins Drive, Hawthorne Street, and University Avenue. These are low traffic vehicular streets, with very wide paved carriageways, and provide perpendicular and diagonal parking. Their sidewalks are relatively narrow. Overflow pedestrian traffic utilizes the roadways, and students moving between academic facilities on either side cross them in great numbers. The Core Campus's smallest paths connect a variety of buildings and outdoor areas, generally running directly from one to the next.

The Core Campus's current path system lacks a hierarchical category midway between its primary, vehicle-dominated paths, and its smallest or tertiary paths. In particular, the campus generally lacks clear paths connecting through the areas on either side of Wiggins Drive, Hawthorne Street, and University Avenue. As a result, these intervening areas, which include the Arroyo, can be confusing for newcomers to campus.

Vehicular and Pedestrian Circulation Strategy

Existing and Proposed Pedestrian Networks (mouse over for proposed image,
click image for larger version of proposed network, click here for larger version of existing network)

Proposed Pedestrian Circulation

The proposed circulation network builds on the strength of the existing network and creates new opportunities for connectivity.

The Core Campus's primary pedestrian corridors—Wiggins Drive, Hawthorne Street, and University Avenue—should be closed to private vehicles and redesigned as pedestrian streets. Their pavement should be reduced in width, trees and desert vegetation should be planted along them, shading devices constructed, and buildings fronting onto them should incorporate loggias. Circle Drive should be narrowed. Its sidewalks should be widened and extended north up Randolph Drive to connect with proposed development around Glory Road.

The plan proposes that secondary pathways in the Core Campus, generally perpendicular to the primary paths, be clarified and strengthened. Additional bridges across the Arroyo will enhance the connections between the academic areas along Wiggins, Hawthorne, and University, and enhance the Arroyo's contribution to the campus as a landscape feature. Pedestrian and bicycle paths running above the 100-year floor level within the Arroyo will promote its use for recreational and educational activities, and link to city-wide pedestrian and bicycle path systems.

The third level of the path hierarchy is the smaller paths that link between buildings and/or spaces. These paths may be paved with pavers or concrete, and in limited places with decomposed granite or similar surfaces. Opportunities to enhance existing green oases and desert gardens and to introduce new ones should be sought at all levels within the pedestrian hierarchy.

The pedestrian network would also benefit from a follow-on wayfinding study. While such a study would benefit all levels of the pedestrian hierarchy, it would be most beneficial to the second and third levels. If properly implemented, an effective wayfinding system will enhance the use of the network by even unfamiliar users.