Campus police could change parking procedures on Pine Street

UNA student Mack Cornwell crosses Pine Street, one of the popular streets UNA students cross to get to class every day.

In the interest of increasing pedestrian safety, SGA might remove approximately 20 parking spaces from Pine Street. SGA and campus police hope to make the right changes to make Pine Street safer, after hearing reports of several close calls this year.

“We are still in the process of analyzing the best course of action in regards to what to do on Pine Street,” said SGA President Ralph Akalonu.

SGA has been working all semester to identify the cause of the unsafe conditions on Pine Street and how to remedy them, according to Akalonu.

“One of (SGA’s) main goals this semester has been to increase pedestrian safety on Pine (Street),” he said.

Taking into account the already-strained parking conditions on campus, SGA has considered several other options for increasing pedestrian safety, Akalonu said.

“We’ve looked at several options, such as decreasing the speed limit on Pine Street or adding speed bumps,” he said. “But those options are not really feasible. So we’re left with the question of what to do to increase safety for both pedestrians and drivers.”

Reducing the speed limit on Pine Street would do little to help the safety situation because there is already such a big speeding problem, according to UNA police Chief Robert Pastula.

“The real problem is that students are not crossing where they’re supposed to,” he said. “The crosswalk is just a short walk away, but they choose to cross in front of Kilby (School).”

While SGA is deliberating over what to do with Pine Street, one definite change is going to be the addition of speed trailers, according to Akalonu.

“Speed trailers give a visual incentive not to speed,” he said. “And they will also help us to collect data to help us make a decision on what to do.”

Akalonu and Pastula believe the decision to remove Pine Street parking will be met with some student opposition.

“I believe there will be some (opposition), but the Senate will ultimately be the deciding factor,” Akalonu said. “We don’t want a hit to materialize just because students wanted to keep their parking spaces.

“The good thing about people is they learn to adapt to new situations. Students will work out their individual parking situations.”

Pastula, though he does believe students will oppose painting the Pine Street curbs yellow, does not see why students won’t just park in the Darby Drive parking lot and ride the bus to school.

“People will have to find alternatives,” he said. “Darby is the best alternative. You just have to drive to one spot, and you don’t have to risk your life.”

Pastula said he will support whatever SGA decides is best.

“I’d prefer to see the curbs painted yellow, but I wouldn’t do it unless SGA voted on it,” he said. “The only way of fixing the problem that I see is to take parking off of Pine Street.”