Information, bike overpass sought on college expansion plan
Last Monday's meeting was the first I've heard of the proposed Merrimack College expansion, a major land-use issue ("Merrimack College to add 428 beds," July 12, page 1). I have some comments.
I was curious about why expanding Merrimack College's student body size is necessary to remain competitive (according to college officials). Educational marketing is certainly neither my forte nor is it really my business, but I did wonder whether the college trustees pressed the administration for a detailed justification of this notion. However, I and other Andover citizens, boards, and committees should definitely be concerned with the impact of replacing a big swath of green space with a major six building addition designed for over 400 residential students.
The intersection of Route 114 and Elm Street is already very congested. For example, it's hard for folks to navigate from Andover to North Andover most afteroons or early evenings. Maybe a bike/pedestrian under or overpass between the campus and points north would be a welcome addition to the project. This has long been needed, and would permit people to access the campus on foot or bicycle - reducing the impact of what is sure to be much increased vehicular traffic.
Alan F. French
17 Moreland Ave.