Jaywalking on U of M Campus is More Dangerous than Ever

Updated: 09/02/2014 6:36 PM
Created: 09/02/2014 6:25 PM
By: Katherine Johnson

When you're volunteering as a crossing guard on the first day of school, it's not easy to make new friends. However, about a half a dozen faculty, staff and students volunteered to do just that to raise awareness at one of the busiest crosswalks on campus. 

Hundreds of students jaywalk across Church Street SE and Washington Avenue SE every day. However, this year, it's more dangerous than ever before. In addition to buses and bikes, the new Green Line now sails through campus 225 times a day.

"We're really stressing common sense here for the most part," said Drew Kerr with Metro Transit. "It's obeying traffic signals and being patient."

And when those tips don't work, extra officers are on hand warning students who choose to jaywalk. Many times, those officers have to grab the student to get his or her attention because the headphones are on and the music is loud.

"Maybe if you're wearing ear buds when you're around a light rail area, take them out," Kerr said. "That way you can hear the train coming, you can hear the bells, hear the sirens, hear the warnings and just be generally more aware of what’s going on."

Students we spoke with were less inclined to unplug.

"I guess it’s kind of dangerous…yeah I probably shouldn't," said one freshman we stopped.

"As long as you're paying attention, not zoned out I think you're fine," argued a junior at the university.

Whether the message sinks in or not, the University is not giving up. 

On Wednesday and Thursday the school will hold a game of Giant Jenga, Argentinian Tango demonstrations and will be teaching CPR basics at five intersections along Washington Ave. near campus to encourage students to turn off the iTunes, engage in their surroundings and to prove waiting for a light to turn doesn't have to be such a struggle.

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