Who has the right of way?

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In an effort to address road safety concerns, UW recently installed several new &ldquo;stop for pedestrian&rdquo; signs around Ring Road. Drivers must now yield the right-of-way to walking pedestrians at six new crossovers located on both the east and west sides of campus.</p>

Safety concerns on Ring Road were increased in 2012 after a student was struck by a Grand River Transit bus in front of the Davis Centre. The student was hospitalized with severe injuries.

Following the incident, Dan Anderson, director of UW Police Services, explained to Imprint that pedestrian right-of-way on Ring Road was blurry.

“Because this is private property, no one has a clear right-of-way,” he said. “All of us have a responsibility, to ourselves and to others, to use the utmost care at all times when using campus facilities.”

Anderson explained that the new signs will clear up who has the right-of-way for both drivers and pedestrians: “the signs that are up require vehicles to stop when pedestrians are present.”

The six new locations of the crossovers include: Carl Pollock Hall at University Avenue, Carl Pollock Hall across from the University Shops Plaza, Engineering 3 across from Engineering 5, the engineering road, the mathematics road across from parking lot B service road and the east campus buildings, and north of the general services complex.

A Ring Road committee recommended that the signs be implemented to “address safety concerns as vehicle traffic and pedestrians interact.” The project was commissioned, and a traffic safety management company consulted with Police Services and the university on where and how to implement the signs.

As for monitoring the stops, Anderson explained that “[Police Services] has the ability to enforce any of the rules that are in place on campus.” Police Services will be surveying near stops and will watch to see if drivers are obeying the right-of-way.

Penalties for drivers who do not obey the traffic signs will differ for members of the campus community.

Drivers who are connected to the campus will receive a campus ticket if they do not obey the signs. In more severe cases, students could breach policy and be disciplined in accordance to Policy 71. Staff or faculty who do not obey the signs may be reprimanded by their university employment.

Drivers who are not connected to the campus that do not obey the signs will be disciplined under the trespassing of property act, and Police Services will issue a ticket for engaging in prohibited activity.

Anderson believes that the stop signs have already impacted drivers on Ring Road. “We certainly see traffic moving more slowly,” he said.

UW plans on developing speed bumps at each of the new crosswalks next spring.

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