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
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