New crosswalk outside MAX

New+crosswalk+outside+MAX

Bailey Ballard

A new diagonal crosswalk, a pedestrian scramble, was placed at the corner of West Hancock Street and North and South Clark Street when students returned from winter break.

“I think it’s very nice. I think it’s definitely faster and I like that you can cut across the middle of the streets rather than walking all the way down to cut across two sides of the road,” said Campbell Ransom, freshman music therapy major.

According to Brett Stanelle, director of Public Safety and chief of police, a pedestrian scramble requires someone to press a button to initiate the pedestrian phase into the traffic cycle.

This is because the crosswalk is designed to build up pedestrian traffic so a large number of citizens can scramble across at one time. This is why a diagonal crosswalk is referred to as a pedestrian scramble.

“I think it’s a great addition to the college town. It’s a good effort but it might cause people to come through here less because it gets so jammed up,” said Aaron Roberts, sophomore biology major.

When timed multiple times by a reporter, after pressing the button, it took the pedestrian scramble about one minute and eleven seconds to one minute and twenty seconds to change for pedestrians. The crosswalk allows pedestrians 26 seconds to cross before returning to the traffic cycle.

According to Earnest Harper, transportation specialist, the bus route is not taking longer due to the crosswalk. He expressed that the only problem is some issues with the lights not changing on time, but that this is currently being fixed.

“I think it’s a good thing for the pedestrians and for the drivers, including bus drivers,” said Harper. “Just like anything else, it’s going to take some time to get used but I think overall it’ll be a good thing for everyone, especially for the sake of the students.”

Public Safety advises pedestrians to be aware of how the pedestrian scramble works and to use it as designed. Do not cross without the pedestrian signal as there is no stop to the traffic cycle now without the pedestrian crossing.

Public Safety also advises drivers to be aware of where the pedestrian crosses are and to minimize all distractions. Pay attention and learn the new implications behind the new lights and do not turn on red at the crossings.