The Daily Illini

Editorial | Salty about unsalted roads and sidewalks

Students walking on the quad on Jan 17th, 2018.

Students walking on the quad on Jan 17th, 2018.

Jeannette Yan

Jeannette Yan

Students walking on the quad on Jan 17th, 2018.

The snow has fallen, and so have many students slipping on ice.

Once again, we’re entering another semester in the frigid, icy winter. Students are getting settled into their coursework, ready to start the semester off right, but getting to class in this cold can be a dangerous task.

In 2014, there were several students reported as being injured; one even fell unconscious after slipping on the Green Street sidewalk. The situation was so severe that police officers were forced to salt sidewalks themselves in order to prevent further injuries from occurring.

According to the University’s Facilities and Services website, it is the responsibility of over 125 University employees to maintain the upkeep the campus roadways, bicycle paths and sidewalks during cases of extreme weather conditions. These employees work to clear 90 miles of sidewalk and 10 miles of bicycle paths that students use to travel to and from class.

The University claims that primary campus streets and sidewalks are its priority focus when the snow starts to fall; however, many students and faculty members are still seen slipping on the ice all over campus.

Let’s be honest here: This University is in dire need of more salt.

The Daily Illini Editorial Board understands that there is a bit of a gray area about who is responsible for laying down salt. The University’s placement in between the two cities of Champaign and Urbana does create a bit of confusion, but something better needs to be done.  

Sidewalks may be decently shoveled (sometimes) when the weather gets rough, but they are almost never adequately salted.

Failing to provide enough salt on the sidewalks poses a danger to pedestrians that could potentially result in serious injury. Students and faculty members, especially those who are older and more fragile, could easily break a bone or crack a hip on their way to class or work.

Facility and Service employees should be diligently working this time of year to fully salt every sidewalk and bicycle path in addition to the campus roads. Pedestrians are just as at risk for injury as drivers.

This winter, we are requesting that the University, in partnership with the cities of Urbana and Champaign, works to ensure that students are always traveling safely to and from class.

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