For students at Western University, losing a popular shortcut was the first step of an initiative to improve safety on campus.
Entering into the school year, students were greeted to a garden instead of a crosswalk at Alumni Circle.
“The original feedback was a little bit anxious because it was a big change for people used to cutting through,” Carmen Bartone, Executive Director of Facilities Operations and Building Services for Western University said. “Students know that we care about their safety. I think that they were impressed that we did something. There is always more [to do] and we will do more.”
Bertone says that following the tragic death of Andrea Christidis last year, the campus felt more could be done for students.
“We encourage students to walk around the perimeter. There is no plan to revert it back,” Bartone said. “We plan to do more traffic calming measures. We are looking to have some raised crosswalks and we have included some upgraded signage [with more to be added] in coming weeks.”
However, some students are speaking out towards the various construction projects taking place around the campus.
“No campus is going to be perfect, but it would be nice if there wasn’t construction 24/7,” Josh Veilleux, a fifth year student at Western University said. “Thinking about students living in residence, I think it puts a damper on their first year.”
Bertone says the safety of students and faculty is a primary concern.
The next step of the University’s Landscape Master Plan is to install speed bumps at Alumni Circle and at Lambeth Hall to slow down drivers in the area.
Other high traffic locations are being discussed at this time.