Some St. Thomas students compete against oncoming traffic when navigating from North to South campus.
Sophomore Jackson Penning said that crossing the Cretin and Summit intersection is dangerous.
“(Students are) either texting or talking,” Penning said. “They’re really not paying attention. Students will blindly walk across the street and have no countdown to know when to walk.”
St. Thomas Crime Prevention Sergeant Wells Farnham said that student awareness is only one of several factors that fuel the hazardous conditions of these crosswalks.
“Cars are moving at a high rate of speed; anywhere from 30 to 50 miles per hour,” Farnham said. “And on top of that, your campus arteries are on either side where you’ve got hundreds of students going through that intersection at any given time.”
Penning said he’s concerned about what it will take for students to become aware of the dangers.
“Unfortunately, it’s going to be a wake-up call of some kind for a student,” Penning said. “It isn’t going to be for every student. It’s just going to be for one or two.”
Last week, a person was struck by a car and injured. Director of Irish Studies and regular crosswalk user Jim Rogers said he has had a few close calls.
“I can’t count the number of times that people almost ran me over to the point that I was literally able to slap the car as it hit me,” Rogers said.
According to Farnham, in the last two years there have been only two incidents at the Cretin and Summit crossings, an improvement compared to years past.
Farnham said that to keep these crosswalks safe, students and the drivers need to do their part.
“Obey the lights and posted signs,” Farnham said. “Cross at the posted crosswalks… If you’re in traffic, don’t rush to beat the lights. If you’re in a vehicle, take your time.”
Katherine Curtis can be reached at email@example.com.