JHU Students & Faculty Hang 3,000 Pairs Of Shoes Near Busy Intersection To Raise Awareness About Pedestrian Safety

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Johns Hopkins University is offering a free lesson to students this year: how to save your life.

As Pat Warren reports, a new safety program is aimed at preventing students from getting hit by cars.

In May 2011, two Johns Hopkins Homewood campus students were hit by a car while crossing 33rd Street near St. Paul Street.

In August of last year, Hopkins student Nathan Krasnopoler died six months after he was hit while riding his bike near campus.

And in 2009, Miriam Frankl was hit and killed while crossing St. Paul Street.

Former student Anna Johnston was Frankl’s sorority sister.

“Lots of different efforts have come as a result of Miriam’s accident,” said Johnston. “Lots of good things being done.”

Students and volunteers are attaching 3,000 pairs of shoes, which were sprayed caution-tape yellow, to a fence at the intersection of 33rd and St. Paul streets. Each pair represents one of the nearly 3,0000 people hit by drivers in Maryland each year.

One hundred pairs of white shoes represent fatalities.

The project, called Road Scholar, is an eye-catching and potentially life-saving reminder to be safe. It was launched by University President Ronald Daniels.

“Not wearing your headphones, not Tweeting, not texting [will make you] aware of your environment so you can protect yourself from oncoming traffic,” said Daniels.

“Ultimately it’s the responsibility of the pedestrians because you can rely on people to drive well, but if you want to maintain your safety and your health and your well-being, you have to watch out for yourself,” said Margo Heston, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins.

The shoe display might also serve as a reminder to drivers to watch out for pedestrians.

A $28 million reconstruction project is planned to change traffic patterns around the campus.

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