Take steps to improve traffic safety
By any standard, this semester has already had its fair share of traffic-related accidents. The University community was astounded to find that a student had been hit by a Rutgers University Police Department vehicle near the Scott Hall bus stop two weeks ago, and earlier this week, an elderly man was struck and killed by a handicap transportation vehicle in front of nearby Robert Wood Johnson’s Gamma Knife Center. Accidents such as these are undoubtedly concerning, and should serve as a wake-up call to University administrators, city officials, students and residents alike.
While the latter accident may have occurred off-campus and the former on, both of these locations are familiar and often frequented places by both students and New Brunswick city residents. Specifically on on-campus locations, however, such as the Scott Hall bus stop, heavy pedestrian traffic during class hours together with rush hour and bus traffic on College Avenue can, and often does, produce some pretty dangerous conditions. What’s more, the lack of appropriate traffic signals, crosswalk indicators and adequate lighting at night can make these conditions even worse. Given these concerns, we urge the University to look into ways to make these locations safer for both pedestrians and drivers.
True, the Sept. 19 accident on College Avenue did spur the University into making certain changes relating to bus operations within heavily used intersections. Students may have noticed a transportation operator directing traffic and University buses over the past few days at the Scott Hall stop, and many buses now refrain from idling on the curbside of the road to prevent cars from pulling around them. While these changes may serve as small improvements to traffic safety conditions on campus, they’re likely not lasting ones.
Traffic speed monitors, speed bumps and flashing crosswalks, similar to the ones used in other areas in New Brunswick, would all greatly improve the safety conditions surrounding these areas. We’d also urge students to simply use their heads when using major crosswalks on campus. Either way, the concerns raised by the accidents of the passed few weeks should not go unattended. We’d like to see more permanent adjustments to bus operations and more effective measures taken to prevent future accidents.
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