After nearly being smeared across the pavement of 900 East again this morning, I really need to publicly express the flag-waving pedestrian crossings on 900 East and University have got to go. A lot is said about the “Utah drivers” and “bad pedestrians” around campus, but this issue has nothing to do with dumb driving or walking. It is just an absolutely idiotic system that is going to kill somebody before too long.
I can sympathize with the drivers as well, because I have been there. Someone is waving a flag at me, and while I am confused, wondering why they are trying to get my attention, they jump out in front of my car — which is still going 35-40 mph — and I stomp on the brakes to avoid running them over. In reality, the system works when all of the drivers know what is going on. But, when drivers are new to Provo and and have never seen these happy people waving their flags before, there are problems (this is why the problem is so much worse in August and September than the rest of the year).
A more standard approach would be to construct an overhead or underground pedestrian walkway. In these high-traffic areas, in terms of both vehicles and pedestrians, building the walkways would be worth both the time and money that would be spent. Half of BYU and Provo is already under construction anyway, so why not build something to increase safety around campus?