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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Can Vanderbilt's Administration Keep its Students and Staff Safe?

Can Vanderbilt's Administration Keep its Students and Staff Safe?

This article is a little old but, if you are a walker in Nashville, these images & these sentiments will strike a cord…

Please excuse the wholesale copy & paste but I think you will find this article of interest:

Can the administration save you from getting hit?

News staff reporter | Updated Jan 24, 2013

Two years ago, Associate Professor of Economics Malcolm Getz was struck by a car while crossing the street at the corner of 21st and Grand, behind the Law School. In that same 12-month period, two students from the Owen Graduate School of Management were also hit by cars, according to a university news article.

Since these accidents, VUPD and Vanderbilt have worked to get several new traffic signs and pedestrian safety measures installed around main campus. But how much safer are Vanderbilt pedestrians today?

In 2011, there were three accidents involving pedestrians on campus. So far this calendar year there have been six accidents involving pedestrians, according to Captain Corwin Thomas of VUPD. These numbers also do not include pedestrians injured on the campus of the Medical Center, or cases handled by the Metropolitan Nashville Police.

A number of places all around campus have become notorious for being dangerous to cross.

“I have experienced multiple times cars passing through the crosswalk on Children's Way between the West Garage and Blair while I was in the middle of crossing the street,” said Professor Joe Rea Phillips, senior artist teacher of guitar at the Blair School of Music. “I have also seen this happen to students as they use this crosswalk, which is a real safety concern.”

Accidents in Vanderbilt parking garages also pose a threat to those students who park on campus. A total of 87 car accidents have occurred in Vanderbilt parking garages this year so far, with 103 occurring last year. One pedestrian was struck this year by a car inside the Kensington Garage.

A set of warning signs was installed this past January in the crosswalk between the Highland Quad and the Recreation Center on 25th Street. Similar signs were also installed in the 21st Street crosswalk behind the Law School and elsewhere on campus.

“We have found that the in-ground pedestrian signs are very effective in that most vehicles and drivers will respect (them) and stop,” said Mary Pat Barrett-Teague, associate director of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations. “We are constantly assessing what needs to be done and looking for ways to make it safer for pedestrians.”

VUPD works with the Nashville Metro government to have traffic-calming and pedestrian safety measures installed on the streets around Vanderbilt, which the city has jurisdiction over. “We work with metro government …they’re very good about this,” said Barrett-Teague. A private developer is also looking to put a light at the intersection of 21st Street and Broadway, she said.

A pedestrian does not have the right-of-way to step out in front of a vehicle at the last minute, said Barrett-Teague. “I always try to make eye contact ... with the driver,” she said.

Professor Getz feels the signs and warnings have made campus a safer place to walk.

“Yes, the crosswalks with the signs bolted to the street … on 21st near the Baker Building are a significant improvement,” he said. “Cars do in fact stop.”

Overall, a total of 370 car accidents occurred on campus from January 2011 through November 2012, according to VUPD.


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