Due to tentative plans to construct an estimated $8 million bridge which would divert traffic over South Road, Tatum is worried he might not be spending his days helping students cross the street.
When asked his opinion about the bridge project, Tatum hesitated, then looked toward the road in front of him.
“Because it will affect my job, and my being here,” he said, “I really can’t say what I want to say.”
Tatum said South Road is not necessarily unsafe.
“Most everyone is courteous to the students,” he said.
The biggest hindrance to student safety, Tatum said, is not caused by speeding cars. Rather, it is due to the students’ own carelessness when crossing the intersection.
“My biggest concern is the students texting or talking on the phone or just not paying attention,” he said. Some students agree a bridge over South Road would be unnecessary.
“From a motorist standpoint it makes sense, but I’ve never felt unsafe at that intersection,” said freshman Mackenzie Thomas.
Sophomore Zach Martin, who often drives through the intersection, said a bridge across South Road would be extremely beneficial to the overall flow of traffic.
“I try to avoid South Road in front of the Student Stores at all costs because there always seems to be an indefinite wait for the crossing students,” he said.
Though unsure about the future of his job, Tatum stands tall, commanding the attention of all passing through. He said the safety of the UNC students will always be his top priority.
“That’s why I’m out here — to protect the students as well as the drivers.”
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