A new crosswalk was installed on Calhoun Road between Melcher Hall and parking lot 20A to assist students crossing the street during high traffic.
Previously, the crosswalk had been a blinking yellow light, indicating cars should use caution while driving and slow down for pedestrians. Now, it has been upgraded to a manual crosswalk.
“It’s just a manually activated pedestrian signal that, under normal conditions, would be a steady green until someone pushes the button and needs to cross,” said UH police Lt. Bret Collier. “As long as both pedestrians and people that are driving pay attention to the way the light’s operating, it should make a safer intersection.”
According to Collier, the UH Police Department issued a recommendation to amend the crosswalk after the UH Department of Public Safety received complaints from students and faculty.
“I understand that there were some concerns from student and staff over at the Bauer College about both vehicles and pedestrians not paying close attention to what was going on at that intersection,” Collier said. “We felt that an upgrade was probably needed.”
“The information was forwarded to UH Facilities Operation & Maintenance, which contacted the city about constructing the new crosswalk,” said Michael Wheeler, senior project manager of Utility, Energy & Technical Services.
“It’s really just some anecdotal evidence that there may be a problem there,” Collier said. “We didn’t see any recent increase in traffic accidents or anything of that nature, but when someone points out a concern, it certainly behooves us to look at it.”
UHDPS then issued an email to students Nov. 12, informing them of the upgrade.
“We put that out because we did want to let people know that it was there,” Collier said. “Any time there is something different about the way traffic is working, we want to make sure people are aware of it so they can pay attention to it.”