New planters enhance pedestrian safety
Hundreds of pedestrians enter campus via the 66th Street gate each day. So do more than 200 cars, several dozen delivery vehicles and a steady stream of bicycles. It’s a lot of traffic for a ten-foot wide driveway and two narrow sidewalks.
In response to complaints about conflicts between the entrance’s two-legged and four-wheeled users, the university has recently made several structural changes to the sidewalks and landscaping just outside the main gate. The work, which was restricted to university-owned property immediately adjacent to the city’s sidewalk, is to make it easier for pedestrians to get on and off of campus without interfering with vehicular traffic.
“The purpose of the new design is to encourage pedestrians coming onto campus to enter through the pedestrian gates, and not to walk in the driveway,” says Alex Kogan, associate vice president for plant operations, which was responsible for the work. “This will help improve safety and security for everyone.”
Two planters lining both sides of the driveway are to divert foot traffic away from the street and onto the sidewalks. Meanwhile, ramps have eliminated the step at both pedestrian entrances, to make it easier for those with strollers or suitcases. Still to come: a new speed hump, shorter and wider than a speed bump, to force drivers to pass through the gate slowly.
“Wherever you have cars and people competing for the same space you have the potential for an accident, and in this case blind spots created by the brick pillars make the situation worse,” says Jim Rogers, director of security. “The new landscaping is helping to keep people separate from cars and trucks, and is reducing the likelihood of a serious incident.”