Pedestrians walking on Martin Luther King Boulevard were surprised in the past couple weeks to see a crosswalk and traffic light being installed right off Longview Street. While having another stop on the street could be inconvenient for cars, the safety it affords pedestrians makes it worth it.
The new traffic light shows how the town can help improve student safety.
Before this traffic light, crossing MLK was not an easy task. If one missed the first couple cross walks closer to Rosemary Street and the town hall, then they would have to walk all the way down to the one near Root Cellar. This wide gap led to unsafe crossing habits, especially around bus stops.
So many students live down MLK, and many students rely on buses, bikes and walking as primary modes of transportation. So making walking and non-car travel safer, is in-part, a student safety issue — even if it is not directly in the domain of the university.
Students continuing to live off-campus will also lead to new challenges for town politics. The town got it right this time and actively made students’ commutes home safer. Still, students have a responsibility to voice their concerns to local governance.