U Of M Police Crackdown On Jaywalking

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- Students at the University of Minnesota are learning that they’d better watch their steps.

Police are cracking down on jaywalkers and have already handed out more than 120 tickets in the last two weeks in an effort to keep students and staff safe as traffic patterns on campus change.

With the new Central Corridor light-rail line set to run right through the center of campus, new stop lights have been put up to help people get around safely, and university police have started a campaign to stop jaywalking. The campaign started three weeks ago.

During the first week, students caught jaywalking were warned. Now, they are getting tickets.

“I think it’s a good thing to enforce because it’s a safety hazard, and some people just walk out and don’t pay attention,” said freshman Holly Harrington. “But, at the same time, it’s like a $100 ticket.”

Police say the problem areas are at the crosswalks on Harvard Street and Delaware Street.

Once construction begins on Washington Avenue, Harvard Street will see a increase in traffic, and more cars and buses will be funneled through the heart of campus.

University officials said handing out tickets is their way of getting ahead of the situation before it becomes a problem.

“Now that they have put in a stop light there is more enforcement, but before that some people were kind of blatantly rude and not paying any attention to the cars that were in the intersection and trying to get places, too,” freshman Laura Hoogeveen said.

Some students say this crackdown on jaywalking has changed the way they get around campus.

“For me it’s changed the way I walk. I used to just go when there weren’t any cars. Now, I look both ways and make sure there are no cops around,” said Freshman Steven Umentum.

A university spokesperson said the citations aren’t meant to punish anyone.

More from Reg Chapman
Comments

One Comment

  1. Don't want to hit Goldie says:

    Totally legit actions. I go to the U and commute. Students really need to follow the signs. Worst intersections on campus: Huron and Washington, Huron and University, Harvard and Washington, and Church St and Washington. Let the left turning traffic turn on their left arrows before walking!

  2. gtV says:

    Enforcing jaywalking laws is long overdue at the U. Besides generating revenues from tickets, anti-jaywalking enforcement might prove educational for the UofM. If jaywalking doesn’t stop with a large scale concerted effort the light rail transit [LRT] will be a wake-up call!!! Have the EMS ambulances ready; students will be hurt or maybe run over.

    It will be difficult to correct over a century of jaywalking traditions on campus. Let’s hope the students don’t have to learn this lesson–not jaywalking–the hard way!!! The LRT vs jaywalkers will only have one tragic winner. It won’t be the UofM jaywalking pedestrian.

    1. Are you smarter than a 5h Grader? says:

      Have you ever been by the U of M transit route that goes from the Mpls to St. Paul Campus? Because if you haven’t noticed, engineers have set flashing signals with bright lights and even noise to warn bikers and pedestrians of an approaching bus/vehicle. The central corridor will provide the same sort of design, as implemented along the existing Hiawatha line. Death by trains on campus will unfortunately be due to a lack of attention to one’s environment, or intoxication.

  3. Singer says:

    Wish there was a better solution. I do think it will diminish the jay walking a bit. But students will always jay walk; rush to class, tests, etc.

    1. gtV says:

      After a few jaywalkers get smacked by a LRT vehicle then maybe they will get a dose of real world reality.

      1. Blah. blah, blah. says:

        Have you seen the Hiawatha line over by the Metrodome or Twin’s stadium? Thousands of pedestrians, and how many deaths so far? How many stories in the news do you hear a subway or train killing stupid pedestrians. Not many, so it’s time to put a cork in it and watch out for the train.

        1. gtV says:

          Blah, Blah;
          I was raised in a major city where mass transit and rapid transit moved thousands of people daily. Funny thing is jaywalking went to nearly zilch when trolleys, trackless electric trolleys, street level rapid transit[hard rail electric], and commuter transit[in designated lanes] buses started hitting errant non-attentive students and pedestrians near adjacent campus and residential areas.

          Mass transit vehicles were given regulatory yield and right-of-way rules that were enforced. As the populace including students adjusted and assimilated to mass transit rules and usage the jaywalking rate almost disappeared.

          Meanwhile, normal vehicular crash contact with mass transit trains/vehicles became a rarity also. The Hiawatha Line is indigenous to Minneapolis and pedestrians have been educated to beware of LRT movement.

          The UofM, on the other hand, has pedestrian traffic patterns unlike anywhere in Minnesota. The majority of U students are fearless in their incessant jaywalking activities as well as ignorant of most pedestrian safety statutory regs. As a former UofM student I, too, was guilty of jaywalking in the University environs. However, after nearly getting run-over a few times due to my safety negligence I got the message.

          Blah, Bah; I also have seen the other side of this problem from behind the wheel of a UofM shuttle as a bus driver. I never hit anyone but I saw hundreds of very surprised jaywalkers’ faces as they suddenly stared at the front of my 14 ton U transit bus filled with passengers! I’m glad I had good brakes. I rest my case.

  4. TW says:

    The presence of bluetooth phones and headphones connected to media players makes this many of us a step or more removed from the world we live and walk in. Step it up on enforcement or scrape them up is about how it goes. College is a great time to learn that the world does not stop moving just because you are present. Time to finish learning the limits of our own autonomy that we start to learn as toddlers.

  5. TW says:

    The presence of bluetooth phones and headphones connected to media players make many of us a step or more removed from the world we live and walk in. Step it up on enforcement or scrape them up is about how it goes. College is a great time to learn that the world does not stop moving just because you are present. Time to finish learning the limits of our own autonomy that we start to learn as toddlers.

  6. Jon says:

    Sounds like they are hurting for money. Basically this is a tax increase that doesn’t have to go through legislature.

  7. acs06n says:

    “For me it’s changed the way I walk. I used to just go when there weren’t any cars. Now, I look both ways and make sure there are no cops around,” said Freshman Steven Umentum.

    Ha!! So funny, this proves what that what they’re doing has no real effect on preventing jay walking. People are still going to do it, they’ll just make sure the Police aren’t looking.

  8. Greg says:

    More fundraising efforts by the U and/or Minneapolis. This is getting ridiculous!

    1. Swamp Rat says:

      It’s about time jaywalkers start making a “contribution” to the U’s traffic enforcement battles! If I had could give out tickets to all the jaywalkers I could catch around the the U campuses I could pay for my tuition without the burden of student loans.

      Quit your complaining and stop jaywalking then you wouldn’t get a ticket for campus safety delinquencies.

    2. Courtney says:

      I work at a RN at the University Hospital and I’ve seen MINNEAPOLIS Police hand out warnings and eventually tickets to jay walkers after warnings were not heard. This is not about the U collecting money, it’s about keeping the students safe.

  9. KIm says:

    I live in Columbus, IN and one of our high schools did that very thing. Parents were mad, but they were fortunate enough to not be the parents of the kids that get hit every year.

  10. thumbody says:

    If you are short on money get rid of Tubby Smith and his contract.

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