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Bus drivers and students call for more sidewalks to avoid accidents

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Some CDTA drivers and students at the University at Albany are dissatisfied with the lack of sidewalks on campus. With an existing three mile long loop already built around the campus’ perimeter, students question why the University has not built sidewalks for common walking routes.

“When it’s pouring out, we go very slow because students will get splashed,” said CDTA transporter Judith Falcon. “At night time it’s hard to see so many of these students because they’re dressed in dark clothing. Sometimes the CDTA buses won’t see them walking in the middle.”

For Falcon, this is major safety issue. Her rout covers the Campus Center and all around and within the campus. Students often walk on the roads and Falcon said dodging students has become a common occurence.

Sarah Carbon is one of the 7,700 students living on campus.

“I feel it’s not safe to be walking the path the buses come on especially at night when I go to the gym, even though they have some lights, they may not see you,” said Carbon.

One common walk for students is from their dorm, such as at Dutch Quad, to SEFCU Arena. This is roughtly three-minute walk that requires standing in the roads or on the grass and passing through a set of trees. Students with headphones are less aware of the buses passing, putting them at more risk of getting hit.

John Giarrusso, Associate VP for Facilities noted that although they haven’t received any on-paper complaints, they are aware of the concerns.

“The locations to which you specifically refer (Campus Center, Dutch and Indian Quad, and PE building) are being incorporated into a major plan for upgrade within the next five years as funding allows,” said Giarrusso.

Along with the sidewalks and pedestrian lanes, UAlbany Facilities will include lighting with their improvements. The ASP reported last November that female students felt uneasy at night making the trip back to their dorms or cars.

Giarrusso said that putting in more sidewalks and lighting means making sure that the construction won’t disrupt any critical electric heating and cooling systems — most of which can be found on the south end of campus near Indian and Dutch Quad.

“We are working on coordinating excavation in that area for deferred maintenance on those core systems, with other planning we are going to improve bus and pedestrian routes,” said Giarrusso.

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