Associate News Editor
Several accidents have occurred on the crosswalk of East Frederick St., including Andy and Lena Pham, a brother and sister who were struck at the intersection last fall. After the accident, Lena and Andy took off the remainder of the semester to recover from their injuries.
After the incident, the improper lighting of the crosswalk on campus became a top priority, and a temporary light was installed on the northwest corner of the intersection. This has allowed the crosswalk to be more visible for drivers and pedestrians at night.
In addition, noticeable neon pedestrian crossing signs were added in front of the crosswalk to remind drivers to yield.
The university took further measures to create a more pedestrian-friendly campus by closing the left turning lane at the intersection of West Frederick St. and Shenks Ln. This would hypothetically eliminate the blind spot that currently exists in this intersection.
Drivers will still be able to either continue straight on Frederick Street or turn left onto Shenks while the turning lane is closed.
The intersection will periodically be open due to weather conditions in order for PennDOT to clear the roads with their snowplows.
“The comments in favor of making the intersection safer have outnumbered the negative comments,” said the communications director for the university, Janet Kacskos.
According to Kacskos, traffic seems to continue moving smoothly after the closing of the two intersections. “I also heard from University Police that there have not been any back-ups or issues because of the cones.”
According to Police Chief Pete Anders, turning left onto Shenks Lane is just as easy as it was before the closing of the intersection. “We have observed cars, buses, trucks and the local fire truck all turn left last week, I am not aware of any issues however we will continue to monitor drivers and pedestrians in this intersection,” said Anders.
A traffic study is currently underway to monitor the conditions at this intersection, as well as the various intersections on campus. This study will reveal if continued improvements need to be made to steady the flow of traffic for vehicles and pedestrians.