Campus crosswalk becomes increasingly dangerous for pedestrians

Written by: Blake Brower

The crosswalk at the intersection of West Montgomery Street and North Liberty Street poses a threat to all pedestrians and drivers alike.

The crosswalk in question has become increasingly dangerous over the last two years, including 8 incidences reported to Public Safety involving motorist and pedestrian collisions, according to patrol sergeant Tron Smith.

The reason this crosswalk is becoming a detriment to pedestrians is due to the lack of a crossing guard, stop sign, or any other safety precautions in combination with the speed of drivers. The speed limit on West Montgomery Street is 35 miles per hour, which means some drivers can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour or more while driving through campus.

While there is a crossing guard employed by Georgia College at a similar intersection on West Hancock Street, there is not an active crossing guard at this crosswalk.

Students, faculty and staff, and others who use this crosswalk on a daily basis have raised questions on whether or not it is a hazard to pedestrians.

While Georgia College is directly responsible for public safety, the city of Milledgeville is active in making sure pedestrians are safe, handling the infrastructure of the city directly.

“The Georgia DOT completed a Road Safety Audit in April 2015 to look specifically at pedestrian safety in the downtown areas surrounding the campus including the crosswalk at Montgomery St. and Liberty St.” Said director of public works Franklin Baugh, “At the time of the study there had not been any recorded pedestrian accidents at this location and it still does not have an elevated incidence of accidents compared with other crosswalks throughout downtown.”

Since the city of Milledgeville has done their road safety audit, the crosswalk has become a topic of interest amongst students and professors.

Georgia College officials take the safety of their students very seriously and vow to follow all safety procedures properly and effectively. “While I do not work with crosswalk safety,” said dean of students Dr. Andy Lewter, “public safety ensures that students are safe while crossing the street and they pay for the crossing guard on the other side of campus.”

While it is unclear if the conditions of the crosswalk in question are going to improve in the future, it is clear that Georgia College and the city of Milledgeville are aware of the issue, but cannot make any changes to the crosswalk at this time.

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