Letter to the editor: Crosswalks college are risky

We are writing this in support of Dr. Patrick Stine’s letter (of Oct. 27) regarding strobe lights and unsafe crosswalks. College Street from the rotary to the last crosswalk west of the college buildings is an extremely unsafe area in the dark or rainy hours and if the sun is rising or setting low in the horizon.
We have traveled this road for many years and there have been crosswalks added and extended and street lights changed making it increasingly more dangerous. There used to be bright lights and now they are very dull and muted for aesthetic reasons which decreased the safety for students crossing and for vehicle drivers. Some years ago, they put in curbs and extended the crosswalks so now students are in the traveled portion of the road before they are even aware of where they are.
Many (most) of the students are very involved with their devices, earbuds in and not even looking at where they are going. Then there are the bikers who whiz into the crosswalk without even a pause. I believe bikes are supposed to follow the vehicle rules of the roads, not the pedestrian rules.
As Dr. Stine stated, many students have undeserved confidence in the right of crosswalks and aren’t even looking for traffic! We can’t see you but you can see us! Please be sure the vehicle is aware of your presence. You are usually dressed in dark clothes and walking into the crosswalk without even looking.
Let’s not wait for something tragic and dreadful to happen before this unsafe area is recognized and action taken. There are an estimated 10 crosswalks in this distance and not one of them is safe. In some weather conditions, the people crossing are not very visible by a vehicle driver.
The lights need to be brighter, the crosswalks more obvious and more importantly, remind the students to pay attention to their surroundings, not their devices when crossing the roads.
It is as simple as be sure a driver has acknowledged you before stepping into a crosswalk.
We know that many people traveling this road on a regular basis are equally as concerned as we are.
Steve and Sheila Huestis

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