In the first two weeks of campus occupation since move-in day, six pedestrians were hit by cars on the University’s campus with injuries ranging from critical condition to bruises and broken bones.
The Governors Highway Safety Association shows that nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic in 2016, up 11 percent from the previous year. The safety of the students and faculty is of the utmost importance and the University must insure inhabiting the campus is safe.
With more people biking and walking and distraction always high, the University should have forecasted this increased danger and had safety procedures and inhibitors already in place.
To be extremely clear, I am in no way blaming the University for the accidents, but there is definitely more that can be done to prevent tragedy in the future.
With the largest freshman classes in history this fall, the number of people circulating this campus today is outstanding. If we pair the creation of the new 1,531-room Nicholson Gateway Apartments on the west side of campus with the commuter lots on Skip Bertman Drive, more and more students have to cross busy Nicholson Drive just to get to class every day. And, Nicholson is just one of the many busy crossings on campus
I have heard the idea of creating a land bridge over Nicholson Drive to prevent students from having to engage with motor traffic at all. The cost of creating a land bridge is outlandish when there is a much simpler solution: crossing guards.
College students are not too old for crossing guards. Ensuring safety has no age. The presence of crossing guards or officers at crossings would definitely slow traffic down, deter drivers from dangerous driving and force cooperation with traffic laws in the area. Crossing guards would help provide a safer environment for walking pedestrians all over the campus.
The LSU Police Department is huge, they can afford to assign 10 officers to direct traffic in high volume areas every day.
Let’s be honest — the way some people drive in Baton Rouge, this is necessary anyway. The use of crossing guards is useful for pedestrians, but also for drivers. It was a multi-vehicle accident that resulted in four pedestrians being struck on campus the first week of school. The more officers we have at intersections the less likely car accidents will occur.
The LSU Police Department already does an amazing job of patrolling the campus and trying to prevent crime. Adding crossing guards to the force or assigning some officers to crossings solidifies their call to safety at the University.
Frankly speaking, the University is a very walkable campus, but safety measures are necessary in keeping it that way. The semester is not too far spent and six people have already been struck while trying to get around the campus on foot. We need crossing guards to make sure that number doesn’t increase any time soon.
Justin Franklin is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee.