For those living in the St. James Apartment Complex, crossing
University Street at Bradley Avenue is one of the fastest ways to access campus.
But recently, the city of Peoria removed the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection and erected a sign instructing students to cross the street at the light near Campustown, on St. James Street.
The city decided removing the crosswalk would make crossing the street safer for both pedestrians
and motorists, Peoria’s Traffic Design Engineer Nick Stoffer said.
“Cars turning onto northbound University are more interested in looking at cars than looking at pedestrians in that crosswalk,” he said. “They are not paying attention
Although students may question
why crossing on the south side of the intersection is safer, Stoffer said it is because the cars turning right toward Moss Avenue from Bradley Avenue pay more attention to pedestrians.
This has been an issue for several
years, but it was recently brought to the city’s attention after a student was struck by a car.
“We had a call from someone
who had a daughter in an accident there as a pedestrian,” Stoffer said. “Then we looked into it and realized two similar accidents
The city has also placed signs at parts of University students tend to cross to get to the apartment
“I would never walk all the way down to the light just to cross the street,” junior sports communication
major Brian Szubrych said. “It’s just so far out of my way.”
And despite the signs, Szubrych said he will simply just be more careful crossing the street.
“Especially if I’m going somewhere
like the [Caterpillar Global Communication Center], it just doesn’t make any sense for me to walk all the way around to that light,” he said. “I will just look out for cars a little more.”
Stoffer said this is just what the city hopes will happen with the crosswalk.
“We want people to know that if they do cross there that they are not being protected by crosswalk,”
he said. “Sometimes it’s safer because then pedestrians know they have no protection.”
Although as of now the city has no further suggestions for how students can cross the street, Stoffer said one final change will still be made to the intersection.
“Right now it looks kind of silly with our sign right in the middle of a ramp,” he said. “As soon as we have funds available we will take out the ramp so that isn’t there either. Then people will hopefully really be discouraged from crossing there.”
And although Stoffer said he understands students will continue
to cross without protection, he hopes people will simply be more careful.
“We really just want them to be responsible for themselves,” he said. “Jaywalking happens everyday
… but we strongly discourage it. We want to avoid a potentially dangerous situation out there.”