By Alyssa Schnugg
Those who ride the bus to the Square will soon be shielded from the weather and oncoming traffic after a new bus shelter is built near the downtown parking garage.
Currently, those arriving or leaving the Square on an Oxford-University Transit bus wait on the cement island across from City Hall on the east side of the Courthouse where Square traffic travels close by. The area is also open and bus riders must wait without protection from the weather.
On Monday, the Courthouse Square Historic Preservation Commission approved the design for a new bus shelter that will be located in the south lot of the downtown parking garage, between the south garage tower and Monroe Avenue.
“Our hope is it will decrease vehicular congestion on the Square and be a safer option for riders who are waiting for a bus,” said Mark Levy with the city of Oxford. “Currently there are no shelters on the Square so riders were forced to wait for bus on the sidewalk. Additionally, public restrooms are available during the bus operating hours. We have several security cameras on-site and the site is heavily lit on the south side. The south side of the garage is landscaped and provides a park-like setting. There is a bike rack on-site as well.”
The shelter will be lighted and possible future plans call for a LED schedule board.
“The shelter will be centrally located for pedestrians and riders but not directly located on the historic square, and will not have a discernible visual impact on any historic properties,” stated the recommendation of approval from the city’s Planning Department staff.