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Crosswalks Added on Memorial Drive in Wake of Student Death

Indranath Neogy -- The Tech
A new crosswalk was painted across Memorial Drive between Baker and Burton-Conner near Endicott Street last week but as of yet no signs inform motorists of its presence.

By Jennifer Lane
Editor in Chief

The Metropolitan District Commission painted several new crosswalks on Memorial Drive this week, including one called for in a recent student petition drive.

The 10 crosswalks painted across Memorial Drive are part of a plan that was conceived between three and four weeks ago, said Sam Campbell, spokesman for the MDC.

The MDC action comes less than one week after Michele S. Micheletti '00 was struck and killed by two automobiles on Memorial Drive near MacGregor House.

Additionally, the Undergraduate Association Council passed a resolution Monday committing the UA to investigating the cost and feasibility of a pedestrian walkway over Memorial Drive.

There are currently no signs alerting motorists to the existence of the crosswalks. "What's almost worse that having no crosswalk at all is having a crosswalk that motorists don't know about," said Paul F. Levy, professor of urban studies and planning.

Crosswalks requested in petition

Ceani Guevara '99 started circulating a petition on Oct. 6 attempting to establish a crosswalk at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Endicott Street, between Baker House and Burton-Conner House.

Guevara's petition, however, called for not only a crosswalk, but signs and lights alerting drivers to the presence of an upcoming pedestrian zone, as well as reminding motorists of the 30 miles per hour speed limit, she said.

A crosswalk alone may give pedestrians a false sense of security, Guevara said.

While the MDC painted the crosswalks, they don't "think crosswalks are a great deterrent to speeding, particularly at night," Campbell said.

An elevated walkway, such as the one proposed by the UA, would be a safer way to get across Memorial Drive, Levy said. However, people often object to such walkways for aesthetic reasons.