Intersections need attention

Imagine this: it is a dark, cold, rainy night. You ride your bicycle home after getting off work around midnight. As you approach the intersection of Annie Glidden Road and Lucinda Avenue, you imagine coming home to your warm, dry residence hall room.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a speeding car turns the corner and hits you straight on. You barely have time to notice the make and model of the vehicle before you are knocked from your bike and go sprawling across the car’s windshield with a loud crack.

You topple from the car, land with a hard thud on the wet pavement and look up, just in time to see the car speed off into the night, the only witnesses to the crime being you and the anonymous driver.

Such a scenario may sound far-fetched, but the reality is occurrences like these actually are common at the dangerous intersection.

According to a Nov. 1 Northern Star article, University Police performed traffic surveys and found more than 70 percent of pedestrians and vehicles commit violations at that and various other intersections around campus.

A serious problem such as this is quite easy to fix. But for reasons unknown, accidents and violations continue to occur. Ultimately, it would appear pedestrians’ safety is being sacrificed because of budget shortages.

In past years, a crossing guard was stationed at that intersection.

University Police Lt. Matt Kiederlen said the police department tries to station a crossing guard as frequently as possible, but it is not feasible to have one there all the time anymore.

“There are balance issues of manpower and call volume when it comes to positioning officers,” Kiederlen said in the article. “We try to attack the issues as we come upon them.”

Granted, a crossing guard has no control over what drivers may do, but the presence of an individual with the purpose to stop traffic, allowing pedestrians to cross, could potentially prevent many accidents from occurring.

Another concern is the crossing signals installed at the intersection. At Stadium Drive and Annie Glidden Road, signals installed in 2004 came equipped with timers to notify pedestrians how long they have before the “Don’t Walk” signal comes on.

The reason Annie Glidden Road and Lucinda Avenue is not equipped with timers is because the crossing signals installed now are still in good working order, said Joel Maurer, DeKalb City Engineer with the department of public works. Replacing the signals with timers would cost around $25,000, according the Nov. 1 Star article.

Maurer said he has received no complaints about the signals at the intersection. Just because Maurer has not received any complaints, however, does not mean there are no problems.

“Over the next two weeks, we will have increased patrol on those areas,” Kiederlen said.

Although this is a noble effort to improve conditions, it still may not be enough to prevent the string of accidents that continue to occur.

Just think: the next person that gets hit by a car could be you.

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