Crosswalks compete with cars

A meeting between campus administrators and the Residential Housing Association took place Dec. 6 night at Norse Commons. The meeting was held in regard to pedestrian safety between the Residential Village and the academic buildings.

“I don’t know if you all know this, but the rumor is that if you get hit by a car, then you get free tuition, so I think students just don’t care,” said RHA President Amber Pyles.

“The answer is no,” said many of the administrators in unison.

The meeting was called as a result of two students being hit by vehicles in the pedestrian crosswalks within the past month near the residence halls.

On the night of Nov. 16., Rebecca Webster was struck by a car driven by Kelly Schneider.

Webster was injured and was transported to University Hospital in Cincinnati by ambulance. Her observable injuries included a laceration to the face and she complained of severe pain in both legs, according to the police report. Schneider’s vehicle suffered damage as well. Then on Nov. 22, according to the University Police crime log, a pedestrian reported that a vehicle hit him while he was crossing in the crosswalk in between Lots A and K. In the meeting, it was discussed how to improve the situation in order to prevent accidents involving pedestrians from happening in the future. Improvements have already been made.

Larry Blake, assistant vice president of facilities management, informed everyone that all lights at crosswalks have been changed from 75 watts to 150 watts and they may go up to 300 watts in order to improve the lighting.

Other suggestions were made, but many were turned down as a result of the future building of the Connector Road which will close Kenton Drive and create a pedestrian-only zone.

“There is a solution in the long term,” said Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple. “The master plan will take care of the problem down the road.”

The idea of jaywalking tickets in order to encourage students to use the crosswalks was brought up.

“I am not a proponent of jaywalking tickets,” said Willis. “I am more of an advocate for education.”

Pyles mentioned that RHA would partner with University Police to work on hall programs in the near future to make an effort to increase pedestrian safety.

Story by John Minor