LETTER: Overstepping bounds at Wright and Green

The University has been attempting to make the campus safer by enforcing more strict jaywalking rules, as the University should. But I question their specific targets, notably the highest pedestrian activity location (Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study, 2002) and what I now consider the safest intersection on campus: Wright and Green. For the past week, I have seen a University police officer target not the pedestrians that are the most dangerous, those that walk while traffic is in the intersection or while a bus is turning, but those that are crossing diagonally during “pedestrian time” in which all directions have “walk” signals and no traffic is in the intersection. Exactly how does crossing diagonally impede traffic or create a dangerous circumstance? Crossing diagonally should make it safer, as pedestrians will be out of the intersection faster.

Yes, crossing diagonally without a specific diagonal crosswalk is technically illegal, but so are cars accelerating or passing already stopped cars on the crosswalks on Green Street outside of the Union.

How often have you seen a police officer enforcing this much more dangerous act?

The redesigned intersections and addition of timers on corners throughout campus are a great addition. Jaywalking should be ticketed, but ticketing diagonal walkers during “pedestrian time” seems to be the University targeting the easiest targets they can to inflate their jaywalking ticket numbers and prove they are pro-actively targeting offenders.

I implore the University police to ticket jaywalkers that actually cause a dangerous circumstance. There are plenty of these offenders. Stop being trivial and actually make it safer on campus when I drive, walk, or ride.

I implore University students to cross safely at intersections, which I like many others assumed was diagonally during “pedestrian time.”

How about a legal, painted diagonal crosswalk on Wright and Green? Oh, that would cost money, and take away the ease in which jaywalking tickets are written so the University can claim the campus is “safer.”

Vince Mele

Senior in LAS