New Fee Lane crosswalks to be installed at IU Bloomington over spring break
Bloomington, Indiana --
When Indiana University Bloomington students return to classes after spring break on March 22, they will find an addition to campus -- a pair of new pedestrian crosswalks in a highly trafficked area and a promotional campaign on how to use them.
Both crosswalks, installed in a partnership between the university and the city of Bloomington, will be located on Fee Lane between 10th and 17th Streets -- one at 13th Street near McNutt Quad and the second between the Kelley School of Business and the School of Public and Environment Affairs building.
"The goal for the university and the city in this project is to provide pedestrians a safe place to cross the street on Fee Lane, which has a high amount of foot and vehicular traffic," said Keith Cash, interim deputy chief of the IU Police Department. "Instead of choosing to cross just anywhere, students, faculty and staff can enter a delineated zone that clearly gives them right of way."
Cash noted that while there already are various crosswalks on campus, midblock crosswalks are ambiguous in terms of giving clear right of way to either pedestrians or vehicles.
"Indiana law gives pedestrians the right of way only when they enter a zone that is clearly marked as such," he said. "But there are restrictions. Pedestrians cannot step suddenly off the curb or another place of safety into traffic if a vehicle does not have time to stop. At all other times, pedestrians must yield the right of way to a vehicle."
Traffic safety at IU Bloomington is a campus issue, but the streets that generate the majority of safety concerns are city streets. Any changes to the streets must be made by the city of Bloomington.
"We don't have the resources to police all areas where pedestrians may choose to cross," said Cash. "But we can encourage students, faculty and staff to take advantage of these new marked areas. IUPD, along with the Bloomington Police Department, will have the responsibility for enforcing compliance with Indiana laws within these areas. If these new crosswalks are effective at improving traffic safety, we will look at adding them to other areas on campus."
A promotional campaign designed to raise awareness of the new crosswalks will be launched the same week and will include information on campus Web sites, Facebook and Twitter messaging, media advertising, posters, bus placards and chalking. Handouts will be provided to students in buildings near the crosswalk areas -- Kelley School of Business, SPEA, the Psychology Building, and Foster, McNutt and Briscoe Quads - as well as along major walkways.
Installation of the pedestrian crosswalks on Fee Lane was one of the recommendations of a Campus Safety Task Force, created in September 2009 by Provost Karen Hanson and charged to "conduct a thorough examination of traffic safety on our campus." The task force report can be seen at http://www.iub.edu/provost/traffic/.
Overall, the task force determined the traffic safety record to be good considering the size of the campus. But over the past 10 years, there have been numerous accidents involving vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Three accidents in the last seven years have resulted in fatalities, two in 2002 and one in 2009.
IU Bloomington consists of more than 40,000 students and 8,000 faculty and staff. Approximately 11,000 students live on campus, with many others within walking or biking distance.