Every day my wife and I drive by one of the most dangerous crosswalks in Central Illinois, a crosswalk where an Illinois State University student named Danielle Fairchild was tragically killed in November when she was struck by a vehicle while in the crosswalk.
Danielle Fairchild was a graduate student in the Dietetics Internship Program in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at ISU. My wife Ciarra teaches in this Department, working closely with so many colleagues and students devastated by this loss. My wife works in Turner Hall, adjacent to this crosswalk, which is heavily used by students each day.
The crosswalk is at the intersection of College Ave and Kingsley Street, in the middle of a curve in the road. It is an unusual placement for a crosswalk, less than a block from an intersection, on a busy road, where drivers may not be anticipating a crosswalk.
Students are petitioning to add a solar push button activated pedestrian crossing sign to flash when pedestrians push the sign, to better warn approaching cars to slow down and stop, in hopes of preventing future pedestrian auto accidents.
The requests in this student-led petition are incredibly reasonable, in light of the past tragedy at the crosswalk, and the terrible reality that in the absence of change, it is only a matter of time until another student is seriously injured or killed at this crosswalk. Heightened visibility is critically important, and the cost to implement the requested changes are incredibly small relative to the harm that could be prevented.
I signed the petition today and ask you to do the same. It isn’t everyday that by signing a petition we might help save a precious life. Please take a moment to help these students, who are admirably trying to do something constructive in their grief.