Pedestrian safety: a continuing campus concern
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 22:01
It was not long ago when ETSU decided
pedestrian safety was a major concern
that was not being given enough
After some research was completed
and particularly dangerous zones were
identified, we set out to make our campus
more pedestrian friendly.
Some parking spaces were removed
to allow for a better view of crosswalks.
The crosswalks themselves were raised
so that cars would be forced to slow
down when approaching one, and the
university advised everyone to be cautious
when near a crosswalk both while
driving and while walking.
So one would think that after these
extensive measures were put into place,
everyone on campus would be more
cautious when walking in front of traffic,
This seems rational, but it seems to
have been lost on some major events.
Last Saturday, we hosted a track meet.
There were tour buses carrying track
teams from a variety of schools.
Some of these teams traveled a great
distance to be here, so our reputation
was on the line.
Saturday night, after the event’s conclusion,
the time came for everyone to
load back into their buses and hit the
Unfortunately, that road was the segment
of John Robert Bell Drive directly
between the Mini-Dome and the construction
site for the parking garage. The
lanes were so narrow that the tour buses
had to park in the street, completely filling
the lane closest to the dome.
That meant that all traffic had to travel
through one lane, regardless of which
direction they were traveling in, while
dodging hundreds of people trying to
This scene became a pedestrian’s
Nobody was using the crosswalk,
opting instead to walk out from behind
these massive buses, drivers were unable
to see the pedestrians until they were
halfway across the road due to the tour
buses blocking the view. To make matters
worse, every bus had their massive
headlights turned on blinding oncoming
traffic despite the fact that the buses
were not moving.
Where was Public Safety? Why was
nobody directing traffic or stopping traffic
to allow people to cross the road?
Surely we could have made the buses
park elsewhere and shuttle the athletes
to their buses using the BUCShot.
Instead of taking any safety precautions
whatsoever, we decided to roll the
dice and hope nobody was injured.
We got lucky this time, but this oversight
is shameful in light of recent efforts
to improve pedestrian safety.