Busy crosswalk raises red flags

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    By Daniel Colton

    BYU students describe crossing 900 East at the crosswalk between University Parkway and 1430 North as difficult, scary and frightening.

    Ross Mitchell, 18, a freshman from Berley, Idaho, majoring in industrial design, said crossing 900 East would be much easier if there were a stoplight. He said there are too many cars using the street to just have a crosswalk.

    “These signs are really not enough,” Mitchell said.

    The crossing signs on 900 East do have flashing lights on top, but Mitchell said he rarely sees the lights flashing.

    University Police Lt. Aaron Rhoades, who works in the Traffic Office, said the flashing lights are turned on when major events, like basketball games take place at the university.

    Mitchell compared crossing 900 East to the computer game “Frogger,” where a frog has to cross a busy street loaded with fast moving vehicles.

    Mitchell said most people do not pay attention to the pedestrians crossing the street because they are in a hurry and do not want to stop.

    He said he takes a step into the street to make drivers stop.

    “Usually I make it out half way, wait for a couple of cars to pass, and dart across the rest of the way,” Mitchell said.

    University Police Lt. Aaron Rhoades, who works in the Traffic Office, said drivers are required to stop when a pedestrian is approaching a crosswalk. He said the most important thing is for drivers and pedestrians to be courteous.

    “The drivers and the pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings and others,” Rhoades said. “Both need to pay attention.”

    While some students said they would prefer to have a stoplight, Rhoades said he doesn”t see the city installing one.

    Erica Cummings, 22, a junior from Huntington, Vt., majoring in marriage family and human development said she is afraid to cross 900 East at the crosswalk because drivers will not notice her crossing. She said she often will cross 900 East at the stoplight on University Parkway because it is safer.

    Brian Stevenson, 26, a senior from Delta, Millard County, a pre-veterinarian science major said most people who cross the street just need a little patience.

    “There”s a lot of traffic on the road, but there are breaks in traffic if you want to wait for them,” Stevenson said.

    Stevenson said he understands sometimes it is annoying because cars never stops for pedestrians, but he said it is just as annoying when he is driving and someone will jump out in the middle of the street to cross it.

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