West Chester is not a scary town that is, unless you want to cross the street.After pedestrians were hit crossing streets on campus in multiple accidents this semester, many students were left wondering about their own safety. In response to issues of pedestrian traffic, the Off-Campus Commuter Association, OCCA, and the Student Government Association, SGA, are looking at possible solutions to increase public safety on the streets surrounding campus.
According to Robby Essaf, president of OCCA, the installation of two more speed tables and the possible reduction of speed limits to 20 miles per hour are two options under consideration.
Speed tables, elongated speed bumps like those on Matlack Street near the E.O. Bull Center parking lot, have been successful in other parts of the state at reducing speeding.
The two new speed tables would be installed on Rosedale Avenue, across from Wayne Hall, and on New Street near the Lawrence Center.
Essaf said that though the reduction of speed limits on and near campus has been discussed, it isn?t likely that it will remain an option. Installing speed tables is the “only thing that could come to fruition soon,” he said. The addition of more crosswalks is another possibility currently under consideration to make pedestrians safer on campus.
Although student organizations are talking about pedestrian traffic issues, officials at Public Safety and the West Chester Borough are not aware of any changes in traffic regulations in response to the accidents earlier thissemester. Bob Wilpizeski, director of public works at the West Chester Borough, said that while there may be conversations about pedestrian safety in general, there have been no formal discussions or actions taken on the issue.
Pedestrian safety has become a hot topic this semester due to several accidents in a short amount of time. In the worst of these accidents, occurring Oct. 26, freshman Samantha Knauss, 18, was hit by a car on S. New Street outside of Sanderson Hall and suffered two broken legs anda student was hit crossing the intersection between Rosedale Avenue and High Street.
Another accident occurred while a student was walking away from campus, crossing High St., on Dec. 1. The student was crossing near the intersection of High and Sharpless Streets when she was struck by a bus carrying elemantary school students. The student suffered minor injuries and refused hospital care when local emergency medical technicians were called to the scene.
The student, who chose to remain unnamed, explained that she does not feel less safe on campus, but is now paying closer attention while crossing the street. She is also unsure if University officials were contacted regarding the incident.