Prior to this year, students walked in a straight path from Armstrong to Worner Campus Center thanks to the existence of a crosswalk. Students also walked from Shove to the Outdoor Education Center in the middle of Nevada with the help of a crosswalk, and students in cars could turn into the Loomis Hall area parking lots using the divider in the center of Cascade Avenue.
However, on what I can only imagine was a foggy, bleak day last school year, executives and students alike met and decided they should take all of these short-cuts away. If my mid-year review opinions have not become clear yet, I will outrightly say, mid-way through the year, I am not a fan of the new crosswalk situation.
After class, I used to meander to Worner to check my mail, get food, whatever. Now, I find myself either walking through plants, tripping on a fence in the median, or taking a much longer route by going out of my way to cross the street using a crosswalk.
Based on communication with faculty and students who supported the crosswalk changes, they felt this change would provide students with a safer mode of crossing streets. Prior to this year, faculty believed that students just assumed cars would stop for them at any moment when crossing the street, which resulted in some injuries. However, I would argue that the current situation is not fixing that. I see students jaywalking daily, which is not a safe practice either.
Furthermore, the crosswalk construction got rid of the break in the median that allowed cars to turn into Loomis when coming from the other side of Cascade. I just see no point to this change. It truly feels like a large inconvenience to any driver. I have to go a good 800 feet out of my way to drive in a circle around Cascade. One could even argue that this is forcing students to use more gas than they need to.
Lastly, the crosswalk from Shove to the OEC did not seem important to me prior to this year. However, as I have learned from various faculty members, “Nevada is a highway.” So now students are jaywalking across a highway! There are many buildings between the two crosswalks that exist on Nevada, so to manage time well, it feels like crossing in the middle of the busy street is the best option.
I’m all for safety. I think promoting safe crossing is a spectacular idea. I see the videos of Prowler learning to cross the street safely on the screens in Worner. I noticed all the crossing stickers CC put on the sidewalks at the beginning of the year. I remember hearing a lecture from faculty during NSO about promoting safe crossing for first-years.
I acknowledge that the Colorado College administration wants their students to be safe. Yet, I do not think that the new crosswalk situation is addressing this issue. I understand that a good deal of money and time went into the construction, so I understand that it will likely not change for many years to come. However, the administration should understand that the construction has inconvenienced students and promotes unsafe crossing habits.