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

Vehicular Circulation

Existing Vehicular Circulation

The UTEP campus is bounded by Interstate 10 to the west, Schuster Avenue to the south, and Mesa and Oregon Streets to the east. I-10 and Mesa Street are important arterials within the city of El Paso. They are the primary routes to the University for majority of faculty and student commuters.

Several University-owned streets provide connections through campus and out to the city network. Perhaps the most important of these is Sun Bowl Drive, a north-south campus throughway that connects from Schuster Avenue at the south end of campus up to Mesa Street in the North Campus and effectively divides the built-up portion of campus from its mountainous portions.

A network of secondary campus streets provides limited access within the bounds of Sun Bowl Drive, Oregon Street, and Schuster Avenue. Three campus streets provide east-west connections from Mesa and Oregon Streets: Glory Road in the North Campus, University Avenue in the center of the Core Campus, and Rim Road at the south end of campus. These streets provide convenient drop-off points for academic facilities as well as access to surface parking in the Core Campus.

Hawthorne Street and Wiggins Drive connect south from University Avenue down to Rim Road and primarily function as parking lots and service routes. Because most of the University's academic facilities are concentrated around University Avenue, Hawthorne, and Wiggins, these streets are typically congested with pedestrian movement, and conflict with vehicular through-traffic often occurs.

Because of topographic limitations, only one campus route connects through from the Core to the North Campus: Circle Drive extends up from Hawthorne Street to Randolph Drive, which connects up through the hills to meet Glory Road.

Internal campus access is controlled by traffic booths at University Avenue, Hawthorne Street, Rim Road, and Randolph Drive.

Existing and Proposed Plans of the UTEP Campus Street Network (mouse over for proposed image,
click image for larger version of proposed plan, click here for larger version of existing plan)

Proposed Vehicular Circulation

The Master Plan's recommendation to close the core campus to private vehicles will have significant effects on the campus's circulation network, and is contingent on providing additional parking at the campus's periphery. This allows for surface parking in the center of campus to be significantly reduced, thereby reducing the need for vehicular access with the Core. (See next menu item, Parking Distribution.)

The Plan proposes that Wiggins Drive, Hawthorne Street, and much of University Avenue be closed to private vehicular traffic to become exclusively pedestrian routes. Drop-off lanes and vehicular turnarounds will be provided at both ends of University Avenue's pedestrian zone, with a traffic booth to control access and direct visitors to parking areas. This will allow University Avenue to continue to serve as a drop-off point to campus while protecting the heavy pedestrian traffic in this area. Hawthorne Street will be closed to vehicles north of its Rim Road intersection, with a drop-off at the south end of its pedestrian zone. Carriageways will be maintained along each of these streets to provide service and emergency access.

Randolph and Circle Drives will remain vehicular routes, and a new street will connect south from Circle Drive to University Avenue. Like University, Wiggins, and Hawthorne, this new street will serve primarily for service and emergency vehicles, but the University may choose to open it for limited public access to events in the nearby Fox Fine Arts Center. A turnaround at the south end of Circle Drive will connect to this new limited-access street.

To improve connectivity to the North Campus, the Plan proposes that a new street be constructed east of Randolph Drive, connecting to Parking Lot M-1 at Miner Village and up to Robinson Avenue. It also proposes that Glory Road be reconfigured to align with the city grid system. Randolph Drive will be extended north of the realigned Glory Road to meet Sun Bowl Drive.

As the University develops its property along the north portion of Sun Bowl Drive, new east-west streets should be constructed connecting from Sun Bowl to Mesa Street.