New crosswalks in three locations on Campus Court and East North 16th streets, a street light across from Gardner Hall and increased visibility in parking lots are some of the traffic changes the campus has undergone in the past few weeks, thanks to the ACU Police Department, the Students’ Association and the city of Abilene.
We applaud the efforts of these three groups in continuing to improve the safety of the streets surrounding campus.
Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said the accident in the fall semester in which a pedestrian student was hit by a vehicle on Campus Court was a wake-up call for the university.
SA last semester drafted a letter that detailed some of the changes that needed to be made. Ellison used this letter when he discussed the changes with city officials.
Since the accident, the city has painted two crosswalks on East North 16th Street at Avenue F by Gardner and Nelson halls, one crosswalk on Campus Court at East North 19th Street by Mabee Hall, and painted across all four streets at the intersection of Campus Court and East North 18th Street by Brown Library. Also, the crosswalk at the intersection of Campus Court and E.N. 16th has been repainted.
The ACU Police Department also has lobbied for other improvements that can prevent another pedestrian accident.
The city is completing the installation of a light across from Gardner Hall to increase visibility in that area at night.
Ellison has also spoken to the city about increasing visibility in places where cars are coming off campus onto the main streets, like in the library parking lot.
He said sometime in the near future the department will survey some of the intersections on Campus Court and East North 16th, and one to three of the angled parking spaces will be blocked off to increase visibility and decrease the likelihood of an accident.
Because parking spaces will be taken away, Ellison said he is looking at redesigning some of the lots to maintain the number of spaces available for students and faculty.
The police department has continually kept the student body in mind when making these changes, and the changes have made students more aware of the seriousness of yielding to pedestrians.
Ellison was correct in saying the university needed a wake-up call about traffic and pedestrian safety, and the Police Department now is doing everything within its means to ensure the community is safe. For all these changes, we commend SA and the ACU Police Department for working with the city promptly and taking action quickly.