University Of Maryland: We Must Make Pedestrians Safer

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Ileto Christie 370x278 (2) Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Demanding change at the University of Maryland. Seven students were struck by cars; two killed at one dangerous intersection in College Park. The most recent tragedy was just this weekend.

The university’s top brass told Christie Ileto something needs to be done.

The battle between pedestrians and drivers is turning deadly on Route 1 and Knox Road in College Park. The month of May marks five accidents in less than a year–two of them fatal.

Both GW student Carlos Pacanins and Maryland senior Cory Hubbard met a fate no college student should meet while crossing Route 1.

“We saw all the fire trucks and we could see the guy’s legs sticking out from underneath the car,” said Taylor Jones.

In a PSA Wednesday, university leaders are pushing state highway officials to curb this deadly trend.

“It’s a crisis for us,” said Police Chief David Mitchell.

Campus police say the speed limit needs to be lowered to 25 miles per hour, coupled with better lighting and better crosswalk signals.

Pedestrians say the light to cross Route 1 isn’t long enough and there also isn’t a countdown telling pedestrians how much longer until the light changes.

“There really isn’t adequate time to get a group of people across,” said one pedestrian.

Instead, students say they take matters into their own hands.

“I mean, I jaywalk all the time. It doesn’t matter,” said one student identified only as John.

An online petition with more than 2,700 supporters is calling for median barriers that will direct pedestrians to crosswalks.

“We need those barriers in the middle of Route 1 and we need them now,” Mitchell said.

Until then, there are reminders to share the road. Electronic signs and heavy police patrol are in place to curb the next accident.

Campus police have also conducted field stops on Route 1’s deadliest stretch.

For more information, click here.

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