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Bridge for pedestrians on Mercer Road would be safer for game day traffic

Mercer Road is a mess. And I’m not talking about the litter or the endless stream of cigarette butts lining the sides of the street.

I’m talking about the pedestrian walkways. They’re awful.

And by awful, I mean dangerous.

In case you don’t know, the current system used to ferry students across Mercer is a parallel set of crosswalks at the intersections near the Alumni Center.

During the day, the system works fairly well. The blinking traffic lights indicate mandatory stopping points for automobiles, and the bright yellow paint on the road shows students where they are supposed to cross.

But at night, things can get sloppy. And sloppiness at a traffic stop in the dark of night is never a good thing.

Whilst crossing that particular crosswalk at night, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been hit by a car.

Once. That’s one too many times.

The crosswalks aren’t sufficiently illuminated, and the walkways themselves are ill-placed. People drive fast on Mercer, and it can be difficult for them to stop on a dime when a student pops out of nowhere.

The current system just chops up and disrupts traffic on Mercer, because it forces fast-moving vehicles to yield for pedestrians walking across the road. Additionally, the large concrete bases which support the signs are literally placed in the road. These supports could make for some hairy crashes.

This system obviously needs improvement. I propose a pedestrian bridge.

By constructing a bridge to go over Mercer Road, we would no longer need clumsy walkways spanning across such a busy road. The chance for accidental collisions with pedestrians crossing that area would be effectively reduced to zero, and the bridge itself would stand as a testament to the fact that the University cares about its students.

I don’t mean to insinuate the University doesn’t care about its students. Actually, I think our campus is rather safe and convenient. But a pedestrian walkway would surely be nice.

Large crowds of students flocking to football and hockey games would no longer need to make the quasi-dangerous trek across Mercer in order to go see events. They would just walk across a concrete and aluminum bridge in order to avoid traffic altogether.

This way, traffic doesn’t need to stop for people crossing the street, and people crossing the street don’t have to worry about the traffic. Win/win situation, right? I can’t possibly see how it wouldn’t be.

If the University were to actually go about erecting such a construct, it would reinforce the idea that the University puts not only safety, but also pedestrian convenience at the top of its priority list.

And as we all know, it’s kind of difficult to drive a car all around every single part of campus. And by difficult, I mean impossible.

The way I see it, campus needs this pedestrian bridge. It wouldn’t need to be ornate or even remotely eye pleasing. A simple, functional, Spartan pedestrian bridge would suffice for this particular situation.

I can see a pedestrian bridge which spans Mercer as a huge boon to safety, and a sort of promotional tool to encourage people to make the walk across the road.

Besides, I would definitely use it. Walking across roads without the risk of being splattered by high-speed death in a dark environment is totally cool by me.

I would like to assume it’s the same for you, too.

Respond to Levi at [email protected]

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