Intersection of Fourth and Gregory receives a face-lift

“It’s not that we haven’t acted quickly, responded quickly,” said Lt. Skip Frost, patrol division commander of the University Police Department.

New installments at the intersection will include advanced technology, such as the diagonal crosswalk present at certain intersections on Green Street, Frost said. The department is just waiting on a new signal controller.

“We’re trying to program that intersection into a four-way walkway. It’s in the idea of improving safety for everybody,” Frost added.

The existing signal controller lacked the programming to allow for diagonal crossing, said Morgan Johnston, Transportation Demand Management coordinator in Facilities and Services.

Some students, however, said they enjoy the freedom that the broken lights offer pedestrians.

“I actually like it like this because it’s faster to cross the street. I don’t have to wait for a walk sign,” said Cody Bianchetta, freshman in LAS.

Traffic flow at this intersection has been slowed because pedestrians are no longer restrained by guiding lights.

“I normally take the bus and all the pedestrians take a long time since they just cross all the time,” said Kylie Resnick, freshman in DGS. “The buses have to wait forever since there are no green lights.”

Johnston stressed the importance of considering safety without the walk signs.

Students should remember that it is unsafe to walk in the street, especially adjacent to the Huff Hall construction, and that racing to cross the intersection in front of waiting vehicles poses a high-risk situation, Johnston said.

However, she said accidents have not increased since the lights were disabled.

The funding for modernizing the intersection will come from the UI Maintenance budget and inpart from the Transportation Demand Management budget.

“If possible, grant money will also be sought for those improvements along the full Fourth Street corridor,” Johnston said.

The City of Champaign owns Fourth Street from Armory Street to the north and it has received a Highway Safety Improvement Program grant to update the Fourth Street corridor from Armory Street to Green Street. However, the segment of Fourth Street owned by the University has not received any monetary assistance.

“The University plans for Fourth Street will continue the improvements from Armory Street to Kirby Avenue, but there is not funding for the University-owned street segment at this time,” Johnston said.