SGA, UNA police continue work on pedestrian safety

SGA has set several goals to meet in the coming year. One of those goals is to improve regulation of safer pedestrian crossing on Pine Street for students.

SGA has made it a goal to promote pedestrian safety for UNA students who park near or on Pine Street, either on the road beside the communications building, Greek row, or Kilby School, and take risks to cross the busy street to classes. Some students have noted the danger of this situation.

“People cross that road like they own it or won’t get hit,” said UNA junior Molly Killen. “I never park on Pine Street. I’m afraid I’ll get hit.”

Killen said one of the main factors that cause this problem is the limited parking on campus that leaves many without anywhere else to park. The problem increases with the growing number of students at UNA.

“All the parking spaces are taken up, and our school is growing bigger as it is,” Killen said. “This year’s freshman class is bigger than mine was two years ago.”

Nothing official has been proposed, but ideas have been expressed by both SGA and UNA police Chief Bob Pastula.

“If SGA doesn’t care enough (about parking on Pine Street), then we may not do anything about that,” Pastula said. “If someone has an accident, then we may have to make some changes.”

Pastula’s idea is to repaint the designated parking spaces on Pine Street, limiting student parking on the road in order to reduce jaywalking across that street to the communications building.

“It should make it easier to see across the street,” Pastula said. “I haven’t made a proposal yet.”

SGA member Tyrie Fletcher notes a problem with the idea due to students who claim the UNA shuttle buses do not pass by as scheduled.

“The problem is that the buses don’t come as often as they should,” Fletcher said. “Students have told me this last semester. I don’t know if that has been brought to (Pastula’s) attention.”

Pastula said he has not received complaints about the buses from students.

“I haven’t had any complaints about buses being late,” Pastula said. “Usually, kids will call me and complain about it, but I haven’t received any yet.”

Other SGA members disagreed with Pastula’s idea and have thought of other solutions.

“I think it would be more effective by requesting a crosswalk or flashing lights with pedestrian crossing,” said SGA member Austin Brass. “But I don’t think changing the parking on Pine Street will work.”

Some students suggest increasing parking on campus to improve pedestrian safety.

“If (UNA) could put another parking deck (at the end of Pine Street), it could solve a lot of problems,” said UNA student Dustin Cahoon.

The idea to paint a crosswalk across the street would be up to the city, Fletcher said.

“I think it is a good idea,” he said. “It would be up to the city to (add any crossing options). They said they would not be in favor of that.”

SGA is aware that the movement toward pedestrian safety may not change jaywalking right away, but the group intends to meet its goals to help make crossing Pine Street safer.

“We know that it won’t be popular,” Fletcher said. “We have to think about the students’ safety at the cost of it being unpopular.”