Pedestrian Safety Task Force report released

The Pedestrian Safety Task Force recently released their comprehensive report as a part of Ferris’ master plan to improve pedestrian safety.

The Pedestrian Safety Task Force was appointed by President Eisler in November 2009 to look at current conditions regarding pedestrian safety on campus and identifying ways to improve it.

Jerry Scoby, vice president of administration and finance and chair of the task force, said, “It was a great task force to work with.”

Scoby said Student Government members Claire Gould and Morgan Toms put a lot of effort into the task force. Toms created a 26-page report of assessments of the crosswalks around campus.

The task force is working with the city of Big Rapids and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in regards to implementing the recommendations suggested to the task force.

Suggestions made include adding crosswalks and stop signs, improving crosswalks and eliminating crosswalks.

Locations of concern in the report include the Campus Power Plant crossing to South Warren Avenue to the Wesley House, where a crosswalk is needed, according to the report. Another suggestion includes converting Stadium Drive’s intersection into a four-way stop.

The report states the task force approaches pedestrian safety matters through the three “E’s,” which refer to engineering, education and enforcement. The force adopted this general outline to help organize the approach on each topic.

Also, reports state the group served as a “committee of the whole” in the area of engineering, and that is where the group spent 90 percent of their time.

“The taskforce came up with some very helpful suggestions,” said Scoby.

He said the suggestions are practical, inexpensive and will improve the campus and community.

This summer, Scoby said the task force would begin implementing a number of the suggestions, including Wesley House/Campus Power Plant on South Street, eliminating the sidewalk and crosswalk on South Street by Top Taggart field and South Street crossing to Pickell Hall and Knollview Drive.

“Additional projects will take place in summer 2011, as some of the timing is not clear yet,” said Scoby.

He added they are collaborating with MDOT, which will affect timing as well. n