JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — A day after a Jacksonville State University student was struck by a vehicle near campus, the institution’s president is asking members of the community to voice concerns about pedestrian safety at the site to state transportation officials.
“Pedestrian accidents like the one that occurred Wednesday evening have, unfortunately, become all too common at JSU,” a statement by President Killingsworth said. “For decades, members of the JSU community have been injured or even killed while crossing the two state highways that intersect our campus. We have already had four pedestrians injured in three accidents on these roadways this year.”
Because highways 21 and 204 are controlled by the state, Killingsworth wrote, the city’s ability to make improvements at the site are limited.
“Representatives from the university and the City of Jacksonville have met with the Alabama Department of Transportation as recently as March to request their assistance, but were told the crash data does not warrant any additional precautions. We have already reached out, once again, for assistance.”
The president’s statement concluded with a call to action.
“As you continue to keep Leah Tarvin and her family in your prayers, we ask that you also consider voicing your concerns to ALDOT at https://www.dot.state.al.us/reportaconcern.html. This is a heartbreaking situation, and the university will continue to fight to protect our community.”
Asked about the statement from JSU, Alabama Department of Transportation officials said Thursday that crosswalks around the campus “received upgrades of (sic) a few years ago.”
“ALDOT officials have talked with Jacksonville State University officials today about concerns that are being expressed,” the statement said. “The pedestrian crosswalks on state highways around the JSU campus received upgrades of (sic) a few years ago as part of a cooperative project between JSU and ALDOT. The crosswalks are marked with advanced warning signs and other devices to warn drivers to yield for pedestrians, which is required by state law. ALDOT will continue working with University officials to explore other possible safety measures. “