Update: MUN agrees to pay for improvements to Westerland Road

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Memorial University has committed to paying for improvements to pedestrian safety on Westerland Road in St. John’s, according to a news release from the university.

The improvements were recommended as a result of a pedestrian protection study of the street this past summer. The report, which was commissioned by the university, recommended: “installing permanent curb extensions to make pedestrians more visible to drivers, adding a pedestrian cross signal at the pedway and adding significant new signage along the length of Westerland Road and on the pedway,” the news release states.

Earlier Thursday, before MUN announced it would pay for the improvements, the university’s students’ union reported that there have been two pedestrians hit on campus in the past week. The union asked the university administration, along with the City of St. John’s, to meet to discuss solutions to the safety issue.

“It is time for concrete action in order to ensure the safety of those who study, work and live on our campus,” said Candace Simms, executive director of external affairs, communications, and research.

The city, the university, the provincial government and Eastern Health continue to work on a study that aims to improve safety on the roads in the area.

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Earlier story:

Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union (MUNSU) has requested a meeting with university administration and the City of St. John’s to find solutions to issues of pedestrian safety.

A MUNSU news release notes there have been two vehicle-pedestrian accidents on campus this week, one of which was on the same crosswalk where, just two years ago, a serious accident left a student with a broken back. Several other pedestrians have been struck on the same crosswalk and other areas around campus over the last two years.

Students, faculty, and staff held a demonstration on campus last year calling for increased lighting and slower speed limits on campus.

“It is time for concrete action in order to ensure the safety of those who study, work and live on our campus,” said Candace Simms, executive director of External Affairs, Communications, and Research.

“By working together, students, the City of St. John’s, and the university will be able to implement solutions to protect our campus community. Decision makers must act immediately to ensure pedestrian safety.”

MUNSU represents over 13,000 undergraduate students at Memorial University.

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Recent comments

  • Richard Hiscott
    October 24, 2013 - 18:36

    After closing access to the north side of the campus via roadways passing by the student residences, further restricting traffic flow to the Health Sciences Complex and Engineering/Business buildings is a very bad idea. The only ways to reach the north campus parking lots from Elizabeth Avenue are Westerland Road and Allandale Road, the latter very difficult because of short-duration turn signals. The best solution would be to make EVERYONE use the overhead walkway between the Aquarena and main campus, to the point of installing a barrier fence along Westerland Road. Access to the overhead walkway needs to be improved with stairs right at the road margins. Westerland Road should NOT have pedestrian crosswalks. Years ago it was realized that the Parkway also needed barrier fencing and multiple overhead crosswalks. The same is now true for Westerland Road.

  • Robert
    October 24, 2013 - 17:14

    It was just earlier this week that I had occasion to drive west on Elizabeth Avenue. And while passing along MUNs property I had no less then 3 pedestrians suddenly decide they needed to cross the street. None of these people were 8 year olds; they were supposedly our brightest young adults. But it seems common sense was quite shallow at best. There are surely some horrid drivers around but no driver can read minds or stop on a dime. These young adults must accept the fact that a lot of traffic passes through and along MUN campus and need to pay more attention to communicating with drivers when they intend to cross a road.

  • Denise
    October 24, 2013 - 14:29

    The last time I was there I used the over head walk way. Yes I know it was longer, but was safer.

  • Steve
    October 24, 2013 - 13:44

    Last time I checked there was a skywalk leading from the Aquarena to the MUN Campus. There should not be one student crossing that road given there is safer alternative already installed.

  • Driver
    October 24, 2013 - 12:23

    How about a campaign to properly teach students how to cross the road. Turn off the iPhone, stop at the corner, look both ways and look back again, wait for cars to stop, proceed with caution and attention. Most accidents occur because walkers do not pay attention, cross incorrectly, and think a car can stop on a dime.