The Ferris campus received a safety upgrade over the summer as stop signs were added and crosswalks were changed.
Among the safety additions were countdown clocks for crossing State Street, advisory signs attached to existing street signs regarding caution-related warnings and new stop signs.
Director of the FSU Department of Public Safety (DPS), Marty Bledsoe, said crews worked this summer on changing the crosswalks to make them more visible from a distance. Bledsoe said the crosswalks follow a universal design that is used on campuses across the nation.
“We reduced the number of crosswalks on campus, but made them more strategic and more visible from farther distances,” said Bledsoe.
There are three new three-way stops on campus as workers installed new stop signs at multiple intersections. Two stop signs were added by the city of Big Rapids on South Street where it intersects Stadium Drive to create a three-way stop. The crosswalk across South Street was also shortened at that intersection to improve pedestrian safety.
Stop signs were added at the corner of North Campus Drive and Campus Drive in front of the Timme Center to create a three-way stop. This allows drivers to turn with greater ease onto Campus Drive because they no longer have to wait for cross traffic to cease. A new stop sign was also added at Rankin Circle.
Bledsoe said the changes on campus were not strictly implemented to improve pedestrian safety, but safety for drivers on campus as well.
“It’s really a misnomer,” said Bledsoe, “Pedestrians don’t always have the right of way.”
Students working for the DPS handed out green cards last week to raise awareness about the rules and laws for pedestrians and drivers. The card indicates that pedestrians and drivers can both be issued traffic tickets under pedestrian laws. It also discloses that pedestrians cannot enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is close enough as to where it would have to slow down or avoid the person crossing.
“You could be sued in civil court if you cause an accident,” said Bledsoe. n