Staying safe while crossing the street

By Daniel Shapiro
Jambar Contributor

There have been numerous complaints across campus about the safety of students using crosswalks at Youngstown State University.

Some crosswalks of concern are on Wick Avenue, Rayen Avenue near Williamson Hall and at the corner of Fifth and Rayen avenues.

Alexis Curtis, a criminal justice major, said she was almost hit by a car while crossing the street.

“[It was at a] crosswalk over by the bookstore, right by Lincoln [Avenue]. They were going to make a right turn, and I was trying to cross,” Curtis said. “Then, they turned, and I had to back up in order not be hit.”

Curtis also said students need to pay attention while making turns, which is her biggest concern about the safety of crosswalks.

“Mainly just cars making right turns and paying attention,” Curtis said.

Curtis came up with a suggestion for the university to improve safety for students who are confused about crossing the street when cars turn right on red.

“Include turning lights — just so maybe that will give them time, rather than going when people are trying to be in the crosswalk,” Curtis said.

Danny O’Connell, director of Support Services, said students should be responsible while crossing the street.

“What’s important is, A, you cross at the appropriate places. B, when there are devices to aid the crosses, make sure you use them,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell said he’s seen many students ignore the High Intensity Activated CrossWalK buttons that notify cars they will cross, which is a safety precaution put in by the university.

“I see people standing and they don’t push the buttons for the HAWK,” O’Connell said.

In order to use the HAWK buttons correctly, the button must be pressed, then pedestrians should wait until the yellow light blinks and make sure cars stop.

According to O’Connell, a difference in safety between high schools and colleges is that colleges do not have the signs for drivers to be cautious of crossing students.

“[Near] a high school … they’re well posted,” O’Connell said. “[They’re not at] a college of people who drive in this area for the most part.”

O’Connell also praised the awareness of many students at the university. He said there aren’t many reports filed about accidents.

“As long as the pedestrians are paying attention, and the drivers are paying attention, I think as far as the roadway is set up, and the job the YSU police do is really good,” O’Connell said. “I mean, they get out there, they are seeing, they are visible.”

O’Connell added the improvement of road developments have helped safety in the past decade.