Praise, suggestion for new traffic signs

By John Laich

I would like to express appreciation for Champaign’s installation of yield signs on Fourth Street in Campustown. Now, drivers notice pedestrians sooner, so they can begin honking the horns longer than they otherwise would. (The success of this project has been as great as the operation of Springfield Avenue north of the Engineering library.) The safety of drivers on Fourth Street has increased, now that pedestrians know that they do not belong in the street and should cross some other way, such as osmosis. Perhaps the city of Urbana will do the same on its announced renovations to Goodwin Avenue.

I have another idea: why not install actual stop signs at key intersections, such as South Sixth southbound at Daniel in Champaign (heavily trafficked), and on West Oregon at South Gregory in Urbana (soon to become trafficked with the completion of a large apartment complex)? This would make it clear to drivers that pedestrians have rights at these intersections too. Illinois drivers might even actually stop (in addition to sounding their vehicles’ horns to express dissatisfaction with the fact that campustown has pedestrians, not only drivers.

I am the last person to advocate for traffic measures, as I drive into, and out of, the campus area as well as walk around campus. However, there exists an unambiguous need for unambiguous signals for those drivers who apparently do not get the message that campus streets are not merely narrow expressways.

John Laich

Graduate student