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New MU Crosswalk Attempts to Increase Pedestrian Safety

Jacob Fenston
The new crosswalk at Old 63 and Walnut, connecting Stephens Lake Park to Benton-Stephens. The high-tech crosswalk and two blocks of extra-wide sidewalks cost $247,786.

  The University of Missouri was hoping to lower the number of pedestrian accidents on campus. With that goal in mind, MU, Campus Facilities and the state of Missouri funded a new crosswalk on College Avenue. The crosswalk was installed in the summer of 2015.

The new “High-Intensity Activated crossWalk”, also known as H.A.W.K., was built so that east campus dwellers and other pedestrians can safely cross College Avenue.

MU Emergency Coordinator Eric Evans described the H.A.W.K. crosswalk as a specialized crosswalk to provide the maximum safety for pedestrians crossing and also give plenty of notice to driver’s that there are pedestrians trying to cross a very busy street.

MUPD reported that 54 total pedestrian accidents occurred on College Avenue from 2010 to 2014. Pedestrians did not always use the two crosswalks previously located on Rollins Street and University Avenue. With the addition of the H.A.W.K. there are now four total crosswalks between east campus and campus.

Evans hopes to eliminate accidents completely with the two new crosswalk points. Even though the crosswalk was installed last month, he said some pedestrians are still misusing it.

“Right now we’re seeing a great number of pedestrians not using the button,” Evans said. “We’re on an educational campaign to try to get them to understand that it’s a symbiotic relationship for safety for not only the pedestrian, but also the safety of the vehicle.”

East campus dweller Savanna Peterson feels that pedestrians will still not use the signal because it slows down their commute.

“I don’t think people will ever use the crosswalk properly on east campus walking to campus,” Peterson said. “I mean, that’s mostly why people live on east campus is to get there quickly.”

MU made a YouTube tutorial video that is available for students to view on the GoMizzou app. The University sent out helpful tips on how to use the crosswalk via email and Campus Facilities employees remain at the crosswalks to teach people how to use them.