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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Police now stationed at South Street to prevent injuries

Published: January 29, 2010
Section: Front Page

Following a traffic incident last semester involving a student on a bike at the South Street crosswalk near the Foster Mods and Gosman Athletic Center, Brandeis Public Safety joined with the Waltham Police Department and began a campaign to protect pedestrians.

The crosswalk, which has been the site of several accidents over the past few years, will now be watched by Waltham police officers who will both ticket speeding cars and remind students to push the stop-light button before crossng.

“We’re educating people to make sure they’re safe,” Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said.

After witnessing the incident, Mods resident Alexandra Pizzi ’10 e-mailed Callahan about her concerns for the safety of the community which uses the crosswalk to get to Gosman and the Mods.

“I worry because my friends cross the street and they barely look,” Pizzi said. “Cars aren’t just going to stop, you have to be careful. It’s very dangerous if you aren’t paying attention.”

Because South Street is a municipal street and owned by the city of Waltham, not the university, it will be watched by Waltham police officers, despite being on the Brandeis campus.

The officers will patrol the area, either in police cruisers, to enable ticketing or on foot, to better aid pedestrians.

Pizzi said she hopes the recent changes will lead to safer conditions for the Brandeis and Waltham communities. She also hopes to see possible permanent changes like a speed bump implemented to protect pedestrians.

Times at which officers are stationed at the crosswalk vary based on weather and events, but are generally at peak rush hour in the evening.

“It’s human nature to speed,” he said. “People get behind the wheel and they don’t realize they’re speeding and then they’re up to 40, 50 miles-per-hour,” he said.