Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

I feel terrible about losing a student to Tuesday night’s accident at Forbes and Margaret Morrison. I can’t begin to discuss the value of a life and the terrible loss that we as a campus feel when one of our students dies.

However, I can comment on the state of pedestrian safety on campus. The article available on The Tartan’s website suggests no driver error in Tuesday’s accident, but I wonder if it is finally time for the University to address this issue. I don’t believe that what happened was completely unavoidable. I hope that The Tartan will take the time to address this concern and do some investigative reporting on the issues of pedestrians on campus and in Pittsburgh.

I’m sure I am not the only one who has almost been hit crossing at Tech Street and Margaret Morrison because drivers consider that stop sign optional. I’m sure there are many others who feel bullied or scared walking across Fifth Avenue at Morewood by drivers who turn without looking. There are many poorly lit, poorly marked intersections and few penalties for drivers who speed through campus. Double parking and people searching for coveted metered spaces cause a nightmare for pedestrians and drivers alike on Tech Street by Flagstaff Hill. Pittsburgh itself does not have a good record on pedestrian safety, and so often I hear interviews of police only highlighting the faults of the pedestrian.

Carnegie Mellon is a relatively small, enclosed campus, and most of the students, staff, and faculty make their way around the campus on foot. Yet I often feel that I am a constant annoyance to drivers who speed through and around campus. This letter is not blind outrage to an isolated, horrible event. Rather, this is an ongoing issue, and I hope that we can finally make some necessary changes that will improve safety for everyone on campus. Carnegie Mellon should petition the city administration for improvements as well as make strides to improve the conditions itself.

Kris Noel Dahl
Assistant Professor
Departments of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University