Crosswalk controversy on MSU campus

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – An accident that sent an MSU student to the hospital in critical condition Monday morning is raising new questions about student safety when it comes to crossing the roadway near the intersection of McNeese and Common streets.

Police said Monday's incident was an accident, but that's not stopping many motorists from criticizing MSU students for practicing dangerous behavior.

One KPLC viewer said the students "never use the crosswalk."

Another said the students seemed too "lazy" to walk down to the crosswalks at the intersection and just dart into traffic. The viewer called that "an invitation to an accident."

But students 7 News spoke with, many of whom we found jaywalking, said it was easier to walk into traffic rather than walking all the way down to the crosswalk at the intersection.

"I can see how people think we're breaking the law with not using the crosswalks," said MSU student Dillon Chaddick. "But at the same time, it takes a good 10 minutes to get from here across to all of our classes."

Others said the crosswalk is not much help because there are no lights telling students when it's safe to walk.

"I think it's safer to cross here then down there because you have more of a time," said MSU freshman Camie Benoit. "The people who are turning fly through. They don't have lights that tell you when to walk and when not to walk like they do on Ryan Street."

The university said these issues are a major concern and that they are trying to find the best solution.

One solution often discussed is the possibility of installing crosswalks with lights like the ones currently on Ryan Street.

"We're actually developing plans for it now, and once we complete these plans, we'll turn the plans in, try to seek funding," said Steve Giles, LA DODT Assistant District Administrator.

In the meanwhile, students and motorists hope the accidents go away.

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