U of I students push to make Green St. only for pedestrians

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Champaign-Urbana -- What began as a class project is now an online petition that has generated hundreds of signatures to gets cars off Green Street.

It started with six students: different grades, different majors, but all united by one assignment for an engineering class at the University of Illinois.

"We were supposed to find a problem," said graduate student Nathan Cox. "Whether it was in our personal life, or on campus, or a greater social problem, and the problem I came up with was the traffic on Green Street."

Their task was to find a solution.

"Some of the more ridiculous ideas we had were building a bridge over Green Street to completely separate the cars and the people, maybe making a tunnel underneath," said sophomore Mayank Jain. "But eventually we settled on this idea of turning it into a pedestrian only area and re-routing the cars around Green Street in a belt like fashion."

But the project did not end with their final presentation.

"I thought that the best step we could take was to see how much the community would respond to this idea so what we did was sort of turn our paper into a website and then the petition which would really allow the people to engage with the project," said Jain.

In the first 48 hours, over 700 people did just that by signing the petition for what they're calling a "Carefree Green St." And even though summer is around the corner. the students don't want the idea to dry up.

"We really do want this project to continue so we're meeting with the student body present to sort of pass the project along to them and sort of get their support," said Jain.

For more information, visit http://carefreegreenst.strikingly.com/.

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