With a focus on recent traffic incidents, new university taskforce is looking to increase pedestrian safety
In light of the recent student death and other vehicle-pedestrian related incidents on campus, the university has begun taking measures to ensure better student crosswalk safety.
Robert von der Osten, Chair of the Strategic Planning and Resource Council (SPARC), said, “The council identified the need for a task force to investigate how we can improve the safety of the campus, especially the interaction of vehicles and pedestrians.”
He added that the Facility Master Plan, which was developed last year based on input from the campus community, has a long-range plan for the campus design and discusses the need to address transportation issues.
Junior Pam Kurylowicz says to increase pedestrian safety, the university needs to teach students and drivers on campus how to be safer.
“My mom taught me to look both ways before I crossed the street and I continue to do that to this day,” she said. “Unfortunately, too many of today’s youth drive everywhere and never have to learn how to safely cross the street.”
She believes it would be a good idea to teach pedestrian and vehicle safety on campus through an FSUS seminar rather than having DPS hand out slips of paper regarding pedestrian safety at the beginning of the school year.
The task force has completed its membership and is under the leadership of Jerry Scoby, Vice President of Administration and Finance.
“We are currently working on a number of changes around the new Optometry building site to improve the pedestrian safety,” said Scoby. “Part of this is adding some walkways, and part of it is encouraging pedestrians to be careful in through walking routes.”
He added, “We have observed many students walking along or in Ferris Drive, and we want to encourage [them] to choose routes away from the street to increase their safety.”
Kate Plessner, a sophomore in the criminal justice program, doesn’t believe there is much more the university can do to promote better pedestrian safety.
“I think they have done all they can with implementing signs that count for the crosswalk and even posting police officers at times to watch the intersections,” saod Plessner.
The task force is currently in the process of setting a date for its first meeting and is planning on holding forums for members of the campus community to share their ideas.