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Police urge pedestrians to heed construction warnings

November 18, 2009

Are you tempted to choose the quickest route to your destination when you’re running late for an appointment or a class or meeting on campus?

University police are asking employees, students and campus visitors to heed the messages on construction signs and fences and resist that temptation to take shortcuts through those areas.

Security officer Rick Spoentgen says the quickest route may not be the safest, especially at a time when the campus continues to undergo massive amounts of demolition, construction and renovation.

“Although it may seem like a time-saver, the venture may be more perilous than you perceive,” he warns.

Two of the sites where people have been ignoring construction signs most often are the School of Education, where pedestrians can cause a dangerous situation by walking in the roadway, and the Henry Mall area near the Biochemistry project.

“The chain-link fences and the ‘Danger,’ ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘No Crossing’ signs are not there to infuriate you,” says Spoentgen, “but rather to keep you safe.

“There are trucks and other large pieces of equipment operating in construction areas. The operators’ views can be partially obstructed by their loads, which means they probably can’t see you. There is also the possibility of falling debris. Workers have hard hats. Students and staff do not.”

In the police department’s Badger Beat newsletter, Spoentgen asks readers to take an extra minute and go around the construction sites, if for no other reason than their safety.

“The extra minute you spend walking around it might be the best time and life saver of all,” he says.