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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

OSU - short and long term goals to increase safety


Dear Students and Colleagues
We write to report on the work of the task force charged by President Gee to review our existing efforts and to look for new opportunities to further enhance our safety on sidewalks and roads. This team of students, faculty and staff was charged to provide an initial assessment on this topic and suggest both short and long term solutions. While there is much more work to be done, we have a strong foundation on which to build. Some recommendations will be implemented quickly while others will require more research and evaluation and included as part of a long-term safety strategy. The following recommendations were presented to President Gee:
Short-Term Recommendations: Adopt a clear and strong set of rules of the road for all modes of transportation to raise awareness and reduce accidents on campus. Actions to achieve this recommendation will include a comprehensive, layered, educational campaign for all modes of transportation aimed at establishing expectations for pedestrian, cyclist and motorist behavior. This will be coupled with a layered enforcement strategy consisting of information sharing followed by a warning campaign and enforcement efforts. Enhanced signage will also play a role in bringing attention and providing clear direction to the actions required at crosswalks. The Oval will be established as a dismount zone for cyclists to begin a cultural shift on campus regarding which modes of transportation are safe and suitable for specific areas. The university will also look at new ways to reduce traffic congestion on campus by evaluating delivery, maintenance and construction traffic with the goal of reducing overall traffic and eliminating unnecessary deliveries, particularly in the campus core.
Long-Term Recommendations: Create a campus culture that is accommodating and respectful of all modes of transportation. The university will conduct a comprehensive study of the campus' multimodal circulation patterns and behaviors. From this analysis a strategy for design, regulation and enforcement will be crafted. Increasing traffic safety on campus will require the work and partnership of faculty, staff and students, so the university will empower campus groups such as Council On the Physical Environment, the Department of Public Safety, and student governments to lead efforts across campus in implementing the goals of the Traffic Safety Task Force. Education and enforcement must be sustained and become a part of the campus culture.
The Traffic Safety Task Force recommendations are intended to be realistic, sustainable and impactful. The short-term action items will generally be planned and implemented over the next four to six months, although implementation of some items could begin in the next two months. The results of the short-term actions will help identify and inform the steps needed to achieve the long-term cultural change in traffic safety behaviors on campus. The university will also engage the City of Columbus to review and make improvements on High Street and other heavily traveled city streets near campus. President Gee accepted these recommendations and implementation will begin immediately.
As President Gee said, there is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of our students and campus community. Many of these strategies will require engagement from students, faculty and staff and a commitment from the entire campus community to create a culture of safety – whether we are walking, biking or driving. We appreciate your continued support and diligent attention to this important campus effort as we make progress.
Sincerely,
Jay Kasey, officevpap@busfin.osu.edu
Senior Vice President, Administration and Planning
Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, vicepresident@studentlife.osu.edu
Vice President, Student Life

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