Concern about students safely crossing theintersection of Stadium Drive and Bellaire Drive North has prompted university administration to seek a safer solution to pedestrian traffic.
Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Todd Waldvogel said the university is looking into solutions for safety problems at the intersection.
“We’re working to bring an engineering team on now that would investigate traffic patterns and volumes, as well as pedestrian traffic patterns and volumes,” he said, “So that we can look for a constructive solution to help with the system there.”
Jonathan Hatley, a senior marketing major, said he has experienced “too close for comfort” situations in both his car and as a pedestrian at the intersection.
“I’ve had to dodge a car one time,” Hatley said. “This girl [driving] was on her phone and didn’t even see me.”
Similarly, Katie Starkey, a sophomore graphic design major, said she has had to run across the intersection because drivers are more focused on whether or not it is their turn to go and not the people in the crosswalks.
The constructive solution, Waldvogel said, could be anything from a more advanced crosswalk to a fully-implemented traffic light.
Whatever the findings of the solution-seeking team are, he said, the City of Fort Worth said it will back the university’s decision.
The reason behind the intersection’s new volume of traffic and pedestrians can be attributed to the new dorms, Marion and P.E. Clark Halls, Waldvogel said.
Together, the opening of these dorms added about 400 students who live on the opposite side of the intersection and must cross it to get to a majority of the academic buildings on campus, he said.
As for student population on that side of the intersection, an increase is expected. Within the next few years, a third dorm and a multipurpose facility will also open, Waldvogel said.
“That will add another 160 students, and ultimately, we plan to develop the entire Worth Hills area and add 1,500 to 1,800 new students,” he said.
Because of this, Waldvogel said a solution should be in place sometime this fall.
Until then, a TCU police officer is stationed at the intersection during peak traffic times, and students are advised to be alert and pay attention as they cross the streets.