UT Tyler working to improve traffic/pedestrian safety - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

UT Tyler working to improve traffic/pedestrian safety

UT Tyler students cross the intersection at Old Omen Road and the campus' main entrance. (source: KLTV News Staff) UT Tyler students cross the intersection at Old Omen Road and the campus' main entrance. (source: KLTV News Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

For many students at UT Tyler, the walk to class involves crossing a busy intersection on Old Omen Road.

I cross it at least twice a day to get to class, says UT Tyler student Bayley Sirman. "I definitely wait a few minutes to make sure no one's going to run the light because that's happened a few times where they run it right in front of you."

An Oct. 22 wreck on Old Omen left student athlete Justin Bartie in the ICU. 

Now, UT Tyler president Michael Tidwell is calling for short-term solutions to the campuses walking conditions.

"Education is very important, says Tidwell. Were also going to be updating some sidewalks on the campus to improve the flow of students in and out so they don't have to walk in the street."

Tidwell says the need for pedestrian safety improvement is due to the rapid expansion of the university.

"It's unfortunate, but we have not been able to keep up with the growth, says Tidwell. We have crested the 10,000 student mark, and with that comes more cars and more pedestrian traffic."

The university has also been working with the City of Tyler and Smith County to slow or limit traffic on Old Omen Road. Tidwell says they are talking about changing the entire intersection.

Tidwell also plans on making pedestrian safety a priority in the school's upcoming master plan.

"Sidewalks, traffic flow, parking facilities, says Tidwell All of that needs to be taken into consideration when we start thinking about our campus of the future."

The university will start construction to make UT Tyler a more pedestrian-friendly campus in the coming weeks.

Tidwell says that future options could also include stop lights, speed bumps, and a pedestrian bridge.

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