By ZACK GLOSSER
Since the opening of the East Campus residences, pedestrian traffic across Nevada Avenue has increased significantly. Many students who reside in East Campus housing have seen Special Projects Coordinator Zachary Kroger alongside Residential Life Coordinator (RLC) Matt Edwards sporadically handing out breakfast burritos as incentive for students to cross properly. The stoplight was installed as a safety measure to manage increased foot traffic in this part of campus.
Unknown to many, Nevada Avenue is considered a highway. Technically the street is part of U.S. Route 85, which is part of the CanAm Highway, a highway that runs from the Canada-US border through the northern mountain and plains states all the way to the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.
Because of the street’s classification as part of the CanAm highway, the city cannot install flashing lights like the lights on Cascade Avenue.
This led the college to look for a solution to ensure the safe crossing of the students. Kroger noted that the school has been petitioning the city for 14 years to install a stoplight in this location.
Last week, as students were crossing, Kroger announced that tickets would be given to those who jaywalk in the future. Junior Parker Woo said, “It is crazy that the school would give a ticket if someone jaywalks.” Woo, a resident of the East Campus apartments was astounded that the college would turn to ticketing for such a minor infraction.
When asked again if the college was going to begin ticketing jaywalkers, Kroger stated, “The college hopes for everyone to be safe—we aren’t the ones giving tickets, but we do give breakfast burritos for proper crossing! I would never want anyone to have to deal with getting a ticket—I imagine it’s super annoying!”
Kroger went on to add the technical clarification that CC would not be the one giving the tickets, but rather the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD). When reaching out to CSPD and Campus Safety Liaison, The Catalyst was redirected to the director of CC Campus Safety for comment.
Campus Safety Director Maggie Santos said, “Although we have not been told that CSPD has plans to ticket pedestrians who jaywalk at the light…that is always a possibility.”
Santos added, “It is important to know the light was put there to improve safety for pedestrians, however, that doesn’t work if they do not use it properly.” If a pedestrian does not follow traffic light instruction, they can be ticketed.
As part of the campaign for safe student crossing, CC created a traffic advertisement that has played on many TV monitors around campus since the summer, with the hope of promoting safer crossing. Though, this year alone there have been three incidents of students getting hit by cars.
The students who have been hit were all able to walk away unharmed but were still shaken, according to Kroger. He added, “I get calls from community members asking if we can teach students how to cross the street.” There is significant student confusion on whether to cross or not because many cars still stop at the green light to allow students to cross. This poses a dangerous threat because often it is the near lane that stops and students are unable to see a car coming in the far lane, which increases the danger of a student getting hit by oncoming traffic in the second lane.
Kroger, for his part, remains committed to ensuring the safety of all students and encourages anyone who has any thoughts on how to better help students cross safely to email their ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.