MSU students find crossing Ryan risky

March 22, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

Crossing Ryan Street is risky business for many McNeese students. Many don't even bother crossing at the lit crosswalks. MSU freshman Delecia Eaglin says, "The crosswalk takes too much time for me to come all the way around and go all the way around."

But even the lit crosswalks don't guarantee safety. Monday a student was hit by a car at the crosswalk in front of McDonald's. Last semester another student was hit at the same crosswalk. Co-worker Christy Yazzie says, "The lights were on. The person did not stop." MSU junior Chris Marler says, "I definitely don't feel safe. I've had a couple of close calls. I almost got hit by a utility truck. I don't think drivers see us or are aware when they drive."

Candace Townsend with McNeese says the university addresses student safety on a regular basis. Townsend says, "We see if there are new things out there perhaps that we can add or ask to have the state put in for us. Ryan Street, that is not only a city street, but a state road. So any improvements to that must go through the department of transportation and development at the state level." Meantime pedestrians have to be on guard even at crosswalks and assume motorists may not stop.

Steve Giles with the Department of Transportation says it will install another lit crosswalk on McNeese Street near the stadium parking lot. He says a walkway overpass would cost millions of dollars. He adds one was built in Monroe and only about ten percent of the pedestrians use it. If the university pushed hard enough, Giles says the state might consider a feasibility study to determine if one should be built.