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Pedestrians asked to consider their safety on campus

January 14, 2011 By

Since the construction fencing went up around the site of the School of Human Ecology’s addition last spring, many pedestrians at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have paid little or no attention to the signs telling them that the sidewalk on the north side of Linden Drive is closed and urging them to use the sidewalk on the south side of the roadway.

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Instead, students and others have continued to walk in the street, creating a safety problem, particularly westbound.

The university’s Division of Facilities Planning and Management is embarking on a safety campaign that asks pedestrians to do the right thing.

“We want students and other pedestrians to use the temporary crosswalk by the bus stop at Van Hise Hall and go over to the south side of Linden Drive,” says Rob Kennedy of Transportation Services. “There, they can be safe.”

Larger and easier-to-read signs have been posted at both ends of the long construction fence, warning people that pedestrians are prohibited in the roadway.

“UW Police will be conducting periodic checks in that area to ensure pedestrian and vehicular traffic safety,” says Sgt. Aaron Chapin, noting that department personnel have the discretion to issue citations, but would prefer to focus on education.

Metro bus drivers have been afraid that they are going to hit somebody and have expressed their concerns. The buses are 10 feet wide and really don’t have any room to spare, according to Kennedy. There are a lot of big construction vehicles moving through the area, too.

“Sometimes the students have their ear buds in and they aren’t even looking around to see what’s there or hearing the vehicles coming,” says Kennedy.