Temple evaluates traffic control measures following pedestrian death

The university has not yet outlined a timeline for the project which would be carried out by Temple’s project delivery group.

A pedestrian was killed on Nov. 17 after being hit by a car that was pulling out of Broad Street and Beasley Walk. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS.

Temple University is adding a speed bump on Beasley’s Walk near Broad Street after a fatal accident killed a pedestrian there in the fall.

The incident involved a motorist pulling out of Beasley’s Walk and striking and killing a pedestrian, FOX 29 reported. The intersection where the accident took place is highly trafficked by personal vehicles entering and exiting the parking area and trucks serving the businesses on Liacouras Walk and in 1940 Residence Hall’s truck loading bay. 

The university regularly evaluates alternative traffic control measures and is considering black, rubber speed bumps, wrote Jonathan Reiter, associate vice president of operations and finance, in an email to The Temple News. The project would be carried out by the university’s project delivery group as opposed to a city agency.  

The university has not yet outlined a timeline for the project.

Following the accident, students have questioned whether traffic calming measures would be added to the intersection. 

Currently, there is a stop sign facing Broad Street at Beasley’s Walk. In the past, Temple’s Office of Parking Services has installed traffic calming measures, like retractable bollards, which are poles that can be lowered or raised to allow or block vehicle entry,  in areas where pedestrian traffic is prioritized, like at Liacouras and Polett Walks.

“This contemplated modification is in line with other additional traffic-calming measures that have been, and are continuing to be, considered by Temple throughout our campus, but with a focus on campus access points to Broad Street,” Reiter wrote. 

North Philadelphia had the highest number of pedestrian injury and fatality crashes in the city between 2014 and 2018, according to the May 2021 OTIS Vision Zero plan. Vision Zero is an initiative that promotes the implementation of traffic safety policies used in Europe in the United States. 

The study found that pedestrian accidents were more likely to occur on arterial roads, highly trafficked main streets or thoroughfares, like Broad Street, and near transit stops and at schools. Broad Street and Beasley’s Walk is near the Broad and Norris Streets bus stop and several campus buildings. 

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to improving pedestrian safety, according to the report. However, the general recommendation for city planners and traffic engineers is to reduce roadway speeds, pedestrian crossing distances and conflicts with roadway users.

Louis Jackson, a freshman criminal justice major, witnessed the accident on Nov. 17. They believe drivers generally treat stop signs as suggestions and think there is a need for more traffic calming measures.

“Honestly, I’m surprised it took them this long,” Jackson said. “The crash happened right before fall break and we’re just hearing about it now.”

Jackson also thinks that Temple understands the need for safe pedestrian environments and hopes they create that environment on Beasley’s Walk.

“Honestly, Temple understands that we need a safe walkable campus,” Jackson said. “I mean, that’s why Liacouras Walk and the other areas exist and they just need to uphold their commitment to the health and safety of the students and anyone who walks on our campus.”

Kieran Elliot, a freshman art undeclared major, also thinks traffic calming measures are necessary to prevent accidents in the future.

“I think it would be a good idea to ensure that that doesn’t happen again,” Elliot said. “Because that was definitely traumatizing for the people who not only witnessed it, but the people who saw the aftermath of it.”

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