Senate focuses on pedestrian safety during Nov. 13 meeting

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Sen. Jack Bowden '19 gave a presentation on pedestrian safety at the College of William and Mary. EMMA FORD / THE FLAT HAT

At the beginning of the Nov. 13 meeting of the College of William and Mary Student Assembly, Sen. Jack Bowden ’19 gave a presentation concerning pedestrian safety at the College. Bowden’s presentation was in response to two students being hit while crossing the street within crosswalks.

Nov. 5, James Whitehead was charged with hitting a student crossing within one of the crosswalks along Jamestown Road. Nov. 12, another student was hit at the flashing beacon crosswalk near the Wawa on Richmond Road. Wynn Conway was then charged for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Bowden argued for the funding of two additional rapid flashing beacon crosswalks, where pedestrians hit a button and lights flash to warn oncoming cars. Currently only two exist on campus. One is located on Richmond Road at the crosswalk near Wawa and the other is located at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business. The flashing beacons would cost between $10,000 to $15,000 to install.

“We all know where they’re at … they’re only two …,” Bowden said. “But when you put them on the map you’ll see how infrequent they are. … Meanwhile at the University of Virginia, literally every crossing on campus has got one installed. They are very trusting in the rapid flashing beacon system.”

The two beacons, Bowden said, would be located at Sorority Court on Richmond Road and at the Campus Center and Taliaferro Hall crosswalk on Jamestown Road.

Additionally, Bowden raised concerns over the lack of a crosswalk near the bus stop across from Richmond Hall. According to Bowden, students often have to jaywalk from Richmond Hall to walk to the bus stop. SA is currently speaking to the City of Williamsburg and the office of Provost Michael Halleran to install a crosswalk at this location.

Bowden also mentioned the faulty lighting at the Crim Dell – he said that the light has often been off at night. In response, he said he wants to create a Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week which would take place on Valentine’s Day. Sen. Helen Tariku ’21 is working on creating this bill with the goal of promoting safety across the campus. SA would work with the William and Mary Police Department for this Safety Week.

Senators are also tentatively working on a Campus Safety Resolution and a Traffic Safety Orientation Awareness Act.

Also at this week’s meeting:

  • The Class of 2022 representatives introduced their first bill, The Strangers No S’more Act, which will provide funding and supplies for a s’mores class bonding event Dec. 1. Senators passed this bill with a vote of unanimous consent.
  • The Reusable Mug Sustainability Incentive Act, which will provide funding for an initiative to give free coffee to students who bring their own reusable mugs to the Terrace, was approved with unanimous consent.
  • The senate passed The Student Residents Group Act, which proposed sending a committee of students to the City of Williamsburg’s Economic Development Authority, City Council and Planning Commission meetings to advocate on behalf of the student concerns, by a vote of unanimous consent.
  • With a margin of one vote, the senate failed to pass The Dis-Activities Fair Act, which proposed an event that would encourage students to re-evaluate their schedules and determine where they can remove stressors. The bill failed due to other senator’s concerns that it would not attract the students who need the event the most.
  • The Spring Concert Committee members announced that they are currently in contract negotiations with artists for the spring concert, and that the performing artists should be finalized by the end of the semester.
  • Class of 2021 President David Demarco ’21’s discussion on SA accountability was pushed back until after Thanksgiving Break.

Editor’s Note: The Flat Hat would like to clarify that Jack Bowden ’19 is a Webmaster for the paper. His involvement with Student Assembly is not on behalf of the paper’s interests.