The need for crosswalks becoming more apparent
By Margaret Damghani
Does anybody remember the game frogger? The one where you have to get your frog to cross a five-lane road without being squished by trucks, cars and buses?
I was reminded of this game the other day as I dashed across the five lanes of Odum./Prospect Road.
This road borders the west side of campus. Burger King, KFC and more importantly three UNCP Parking Lots and two apartment complexes are on the opposite side of this road from campus.
The parking lots, a mix of student and faculty lots, hold approximately 300 cars each day. Pembroke Place, across from GPAC, can house 336 people.
This means that roughly 636 people may need to cross that road each day.
So why aren’t there any crosswalks? The answer is not as simple as it may seem.
The road, and therefore any crosswalk, is the responsibility of the Department of Transportation.
UNCP is having an ongoing discussion with DOT about installing crosswalks and has made requests for them in the past, according to Dr. Diane O. Jones, vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
Thus far, the DOT doesn’t feel crosswalks are needed.
However, it did put up “pedestrian crossing” signs. They look somewhat like deer crossing signs, but with a stick figure instead of a deer.
So if DOT doesn’t want to put up the crosswalks, why doesn’t UNCP just ask permission to do it instead?
Not only are the roads out of UNCP’s jurisdiction, but UNCP money cannot be used to fund projects that are not on campus, according to University Engineer Bess Tyner.
It appears that the issue of building crosswalks has several aspects that have to be sorted out.
One possibility, in lieu of crosswalks, is a grass median that would go in the middle of the lane, enabling students to cross the lanes of traffic going one way, stop on the median, and wait for a chance to cross the lanes of traffic going the opposite way.
Still seems like frogger, but it’s better than nothing.