Bike, hike or bus
UNC’s campus might just be one of the most beautiful campuses that this country has to offer. Yes, I’m completely biased and anyone from Duke or Wake or Elon will tell you differently. Don’t listen to them. There really is just something about the way that trees bloom as you walk to class through Polk Place on an early April morning (Brendan James, anyone? – he went to UNC). Ah, it’s just lovely.
As with any campus, there are many ways to get around. Walking is, by far, the most common way to get from place to place. Carolina is a very pedestrian-friendly place. When crossing South Road to get to class in the morning from south campus, there are crossing guards at peak hours to make sure that traffic gets through as well as students.
There’s also a group called Yield 2 Heels that is dedicated to pedestrian safety. But, then again, who wouldn’t want to walk through Polk Place? Nothing’s really too far to walk to. Franklin Street (the north boundary of campus) to Ram Village 5 (the apartment building the furthest south) would only take 30 minutes to walk. End to end is only half an hour. It’s great to have a centralized campus.
Not into walking? Well, good thing there are other options. Biking is a great option that lots of people use. There are bike racks located all throughout campus, so you can bike to and from and then lock your bike up and stay as long as you please.
But, since bikes are a pretty nice commodity, make sure you register them with the Department of Public Safety. It’s free, so why not? Don’t forget your lock either. Bikes are really nice when you are wanting to get a little further off campus, to Carrboro perhaps or to a friend’s off-campus place.
Not into walking or biking? Chapel Hill Transit = free buses around Chapel Hill. So good! The buses all have bike-racks in case you need to take your bike with you for those longer trips. It can be a little intimidating when you first start to see all the buses that run through campus.
The U, NU, RU and a bunch of other letters are what will distinguish the buses from each other, but know that the routes change on the weekends and for holidays or football games. Here’s a few routes that are key to know for getting around campus:
- U – This bus will take you from the Dean Dome up to Franklin Street, hitting lots of destinations along the way. A definite route to know for those rainy April mornings for South Campus residents.
- RU – Similar to the U, but in the opposite direction. Key things to know about the RU that differ from the U: it doesn’t go all the way up to Franklin Street, only up to Cameron (the road that runs past the Old Well and separates Polk Place from McCorkle Place), and it runs through Ridge Road instead of Stadium Drive for you mid-campus folks (like me!).
- NU – For those of you who end up parking in the PR lot, this is the bus for you. It runs from the PR lot down to Manning Drive through the hospitals. Also a good bus to catch from the Student Union on your way back south after classes.
You will also find various other ways of transportation throughout campus. There is a definite skateboard presence here (both long board and short board), and the occasional scooter or moped. I’d tell you to walk though, because it gives you the ability to stop, chat with a classmate, and slowly take in the beauty of the Southern part of heaven (you didn’t know you were going to school in heaven, did you?)