Students say unpainted crosswalk is “dangerous”

Junior Taylor Creasey crosses the crosswalk between Appleby East and West parking lot and the Student Publications Building on Wood Avenue. The crosswalk lines have not been repainted since city engineers paved the road. 

by News Editor Breanna Littrell

In July, city engineers began construction to repair issues on Wood Avenue. During the beginning of this semester, the street was repaved, but the crosswalks were not painted.

The crosswalk on Wood Avenue between the Appleby East and West parking lot and the Student Publications Building is in a high traffic area. Many drivers do not realize there is a crosswalk because the lines are not painted.

Sophomore Brooklyn Greenleaf said she thinks the crosswalk is dangerous. 

“I think that they should repaint the lines,” she said. “I have seen many cars that do not slow down there, and (drivers) are not as cautious as they should be. I would feel uncomfortable to have to walk across that crosswalk on a daily basis.”

“A driver could be cited for failure to obey a traffic device or failure to yield right of way,” said UNA Chief of Police Kevin Gillilan in an email. “The driver may also accrue points on their license. Excessive points may result in license suspension. Striking a pedestrian may also lead to criminal charges and civil damages (lawsuits).”

City Engineer Bill Batson said they had to wait on a change order approval to be able to paint the lines.

“We have been given the go ahead on the change order,” he said. Weather permitting, the lines will be painted when they are able to schedule the work.”

Junior Kristina McMahan said she has had a problem with cars not stopping for her to cross.

“I always turn on the lights so that people are aware that I’m going to cross, but I’ve had people just keep going even though the lights are on and everything,” she said. “I guess I didn’t really think about it, but the lines did have an impact on people that were driving through the area. I’ve been hoping that they would come back and actually paint lines on the road.”

Senior Stefanie L’ample said she was trying to cross one day, and a car was rear-ended because the driver did not see her in time.

“The lights flash, but the cars still don’t stop for the lights,” L’ample said. “Students assume the cars will stop, and it becomes dangerous when they don’t. I think it needs to be a more defined crosswalk. Have signs saying, ‘prepare to stop’ and signs (that tell) the students to wait after pushing the light and look both ways.”

L’ample also said having a camera at the crosswalk to catch drivers who do not stop would be beneficial.

“The crosswalk should have been repainted immediately,” said senior Jacob Dawson. “The safety of residents and commuters does not seem to be a priority of city managers. This raises important ethical questions about the leadership of our city.

“Hundreds of students may use that crosswalk in a week, and each life deserves to be safeguarded. The solution is simple. It is shameful that the city has neglected to remedy this situation.”