If you have tried to make your way across 15th Street (which cuts through the area between Burrito Shack and the Quad) since school has been back in session, you may have noticed something missing (and we’re not talking about Ordway Hall.)
What is missing? Well for starters, there is no way to walk across the street without the possibility of being hit by a speeding car.
Prior to classes coming back in session, the city of Murray (which owns 15th Street, giving it the final say on how many crosswalks will be on the street, for what it’s worth) had 15th Street repaved, and thus, crosswalks vanished into thin air.
This might not sound like a big deal until you walk across 15th Street yourself. The road is well used, to say the least, and cars speed down the road in excess of the nominal 25 mph speed limit on a regular basis.
Trust us – The News, housed in Wilson Hall, is located right on 15th street, making our daily commute to bring you to-the-minute reporting a treacherous one.
We would like to commend the University for keeping in close contact with the city on this issue.
Interim President Tim Miller has engaged in discussions with the city about our concerns, though as of yet the city has still not moved to rectify this issue.
What is taking the city so long to address this?
Why are students being completely shut out as the city deliberates, but does not act?
It doesn’t take a traffic study to tell students who have to cross 15th Street every day of the week that the possibility for something bad to happen may yet be around the corner.
We have had accidents at Murray State before, and those accidents ultimately resulted in needed changes to speed limits on our roads and increased the number of crosswalks available.
But why should we have to wait until a student, staff member or faculty member has an accident before we make it safe to cross the street near campus?
There is absolutely no excuse for the city to stand idly by or postpone the addition of crosswalks to 15th Street once you consider the fact this street previously had not one, but two, crosswalks.
If those crosswalks were recognized as necessary in the past, what has changed?
Does the city think that with more students on campus at any given time we need less crosswalks?
Perhaps the solution lies in reducing the speed limit on 15th Street. Driving slower may prevent accidents even if crosswalks are not present – but we do not think this is a choice we should have to make.
The city should provide the maximum amount of protection for those walking across its streets, even if that means paving new crosswalks and lowering the speed limit on 15th street in tandem.
Whatever the solution adopted by the city, it would do us all well to take extra care when crossing any road in Murray.
Too often, students don’t look both ways when crossing the street, or on the flipside, commuters don’t give students crossing the road enough time to get across.