Students react to crosswalk removal

The recent shutdown of the crosswalk on West Eighth Street between A.J.’s Way and the A.J. Palumbo Academic Center has quickly garnered the attention of students coming back from break.

Tom Panighetti, Student Government Association president, said that the crosswalk in question did not have a legal permit, unlike the one on West Seventh Street. He said the university believed that the two crosswalks had similar documentation, but they did not.

The senior political science major said it is important for the university to pursue bringing it back because it primarily presents a safety issue to students on campus. He said the icy conditions make it especially hazardous and someone could easily get hit by an oncoming car.

The crosswalk has been used by the university for a number of years. Most recently, the university hired a security guard to direct traffic before the crosswalk was shut down.

Karla Wludyga, the director of public relations and communications and special assistant to the president, said the crosswalk situation has been regulated by the city.

“In the meantime while we try to figure out what kind of recourse we have, we need to encourage students to cross at the legal crosswalks for their own safety,” she said.

The interim president Dr. Philip Kelly; Keith Taylor, Ph.D, provost and vice president of academic affairs;  and Shay Meinzer, director of Erie-GAINS, are scheduled to meet with Mayor Joe Sinnott on Friday, Wludyga said.

Even though the students are required by law to cross at the legal crosswalk on West Eighth Street which is 30 feet away from the demolished one, most students cross illegally anyway.

Courtney Herzing, a sophomore journalism communications major, said she thinks the crosswalk needs to be there.

“It’s been a week since the crosswalk hasn’t been there and students are still crossing from A.J.’s Way to the Palumbo Building,” she said. “I believe it needs to be there because students are not going to walk to the corners of the sidewalks.

“I still cross from A.J.’s Way to the Palumbo Building when no cars are coming, and if I’m standing there and waiting, cars stop and let students cross.”


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