Construction of the Arts and Transit Neighborhood has caused small inconveniences for the day-to-day lives of students living in Forbes College, according to several residents of Forbes.was closed to vehicular traffic in October, resulting in changes to pedestrian and bike paths from Forbes College to the main campus. The changes have added approximately 30 seconds of travel time to the commute traveling to and from Forbes, College Master Michael Hecht told the Forbes community in an email announcing the road closure, which is expected to last until February.
“They did get a lot done during the summer, but they could only get done a certain amount,” Forbes College Council Co-Chair Wardah Bari ’16 said. “I heard that the roundabout construction could be done by February, but the entire project will be done after we graduate, and so none of us will ever see the good part of it, but we've been here through the entire pain of it.”
Bari added that Casino Night turnout was smaller than last year and attributed the decline to ongoing construction.
“I don't think as many people came as last year, but it was good. I think a lot of it was due to construction,” she said. “A lot of people get lost and kind of get intimidated by the construction. It even took me a while to get used to it.”
Yesenia Arroyo '15, who lives in the "Pink House" at 99 Alexander Street next to Forbes College, noted the construction had some drawbacks.
“It’s a little bit depressing to look at, and it also makes the walk just that much longer, which sucks because we’re in Forbes and it’s far anyway,” Arroyo said. “But I think the noise is the worst part. I’m in the Pink House, so I live right on top of [the construction], and my window kind of faces the construction, so when I wake up, I’ll wake up at like 7:00 to the sound of, like, a bulldozer.”
Although Bari said she approved of the University’s willingness to take students’ opinions into account and noted that the signs providing directions to the Forbes Main Inn and other campus locations were helpful, she explained that the University could do more to minimize the inconvenience caused by the construction.
“I think a lot of people have been [complaining],” Bari said. “[The construction is] not really affecting them, but it's hard to come back to Forbes. It's all chained up — there are fences everywhere. People have more reason to stay outside all day then come back when everything is done.”
Some students pointed out unexpected benefits of the project.
“I actually like that Alexander Street isn’t open [to vehicular traffic] because we have a guard now near McCarter who stops cars for us so we don’t have to wait for a light, which is really nice,“ Forbes resident Sharim Estevez ’16 said.