EDITORIAL: Explore new public safety options
In response to rising safety concerns, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan announced the University’s plan to install temporary and portable speed bumps on Loop Road on Jan.16. The speed bumps were placed near the Psychological Counseling Center crosswalk and between the Spingold Theater Center and the Rose Art Museum.
Although the University is looking into improving public safety on campus through the placement of these portable speed bumps, this board holds that these measures to address the issue are not enough. The Department of Public Safety must take permanent steps to solve the ongoing problem of pedestrian and traffic safety on campus.
The decision to install the portable speed bumps came as a result of increased complaints to Callahan from pedestrians and bicyclists on campus. Additionally, Parking Office Manager Donna Cottens noted that the Department of Public Safety cited 12 speeding citations over a period of 12 months on campus.
Students want further improvement of public safety. In an interview with the Justice, Molly Marcus ’18 said, "I think that cars go way too quickly through campus. I’m sure I’m not the only one who fears for my life when trying to cross the street."
In a Feb. 4, 2014 editorial published in the Justice, this board encouraged the University to take new steps to improve public safety on South Street, and quoted Callahan expressing that, historically, 20 to 40 citations are given for speeding to cars on South Street every day. As a result, the editorial board proposed that the pedestrian crosswalk lights be changed from yellow to red to encourage drivers to come to a full stop. We also encouraged the University to station police officers at the crosswalk as needed. In an effort to improve safety, Callahan and the Department of Public Safety implemented some of these measures last year, for which we commend them. But if more action can be taken to ensure student safety, it should be taken.
It is important to note that, unlike South Street, Loop Road is on campus, and therefore it is even more critical that Public Safety addresses this issue in a timely manner. This editorial board encourages Callahan and the Department of Public Safety to review the data they have gathered from these temporary speed bumps quickly, and determine whether permanently installing speed bumps would be an effective safety measure. If not, they must continue to pursue other options.