Dec 092003
 
Authors: Jamie Way

Students often battle their way across Laurel and Mason streets

without the aid of a lighted crosswalk.

Each day some students struggle to find parking and end up

settling for a space across Laurel, but the difficulties sometimes

have not ceased once the students have parked.

At the Nov. 18 City Council meeting, social work junior Colleen

Callahan brought light to the issue.

“I live on Mason and Laurel, and I know my (sorority) sisters

and I almost die every day,” Callahan said.

Callahan took the project on for one of her social work classes.

Although the numbers do not demonstrate that the issue should be a

priority, she still believes it is necessary to address her

concern. She said pedestrians are often caught in the middle of the

street or are forced to wait 15 to 20 minutes to cross.

“I don’t think the numbers speak the truth,” Callahan said.

“People are just getting lucky.”

Callahan has created fliers and recently filmed the

intersection. She said that although City Council has not been

responsive to her request, she is still planning to take action.

She encourages citizens to write to City Council with their

concerns.

Council member Marty Tharp of District 5, who was once a CSU

professor, was in support of a light being installed because of the

number of pedestrians that use the intersection.

“I was in favor of putting the crosswalk in, but I don’t think

that there was a lot of support from the rest of the council when I

suggested using money from the reserve,” Tharp said.

The proposed project would cost $200,000. City Council has not

agreed on where the money would come from if the project were to be

accepted because it was not in the original budget.

Tharp found little common support for the project when she

supported it. Among those who were not sure that the lighted

crosswalk was a top priority was Karen Weitkunat of District 2.

“There’s an unfairness to the entire community to move this to

the top of the priorities,” Weitkunat said. “I think there’s other

intersections that are more dangerous.”

Stastically, Weitkunat is correct. The Laurel and Mason

intersection does not even rank on the City of Fort Collins Traffic

Operations’ list of most dangerous intersections in Fort Collins

and there have only been 18 accidents there in the last two years,

only one of which involved a bicyclist and none that involved

pedestrians.

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