On-Campus Crosswalks Do Not Protect Pedestrians


Crosswalk next to BU Police Department and faculty parking. Photo by Sydney Stokes.

Carly Busfield, Howl Editor

The crosswalks on BU campus are intended to provide walkways for students, faculty, workers, and other pedestrians to tread safely across the university. Painted white lines on “black top” do not stop vehicular accidents involving the injury of a person walking.  

Each day, cars breeze through those white, diagonal lines before anyone has a chance to step forward. Some people are polite and allow pedestrians to have the “right of way”, while others act with a led foot on the gas as the lines get closer.  

The injuries and associated costs are frequently devastating when a pedestrian is involved in a road crash. Pedestrians are more at risk since they have nothing to protect oneself from the collision’s force. 

The main issues of the BU campus crosswalks are speeding [through], distracted driving, and failure to check for pedestrians before entering crosswalk. Pedestrians have “the right of way”, especially in a crosswalk. There are approximately 60 crosswalks on campus at Bloomsburg university.  

Although pedestrians are accountable for crossing the pedestrian crossing when it is safe to or when directed by traffic signals, car owners must yield to commuters. Depending on the location, the appropriate BU authority would respond and handle the motor incident involving a pedestrian within the crosswalk. 

Sergeant Kenneth Egan of the BU Police Department shares that this is a concern of safety. However, followed with, “Luckily, these are very rare on campus.  I can only recall two on campus over 20 years.”  

The BU Police tries to educate both pedestrians and motorists.  The department has released videos on social media on pedestrian safety. He noted, “One of the bigger issues that we see are distracted pedestrians: Pedestrians not looking before crossing, having their head in their phones, ear buds in, etc.”  

In Pennsylvania, pedestrians are required to wait until it is safe to enter the crosswalk and vehicles are not required to stop to allow pedestrians to step off the curb to cross, especially mid-block.  That’s a frequent misunderstanding that Egans hears when speaking to people. 

“Crosswalk-etiquette” is not held to a high standard by most on-campus, as many continue to use poor, distracted habits each day endangering the lives of others.