Many K-State students and faculty noticed a problem with the newly installed crosswalk signals on the outskirts of campus. They didn’t work.
One such student was Stephen Lachky, freshman in environmental design studies.
“I’ve had a few close calls when crossing the streets late at night because drivers just didn’t realize people were trying to cross,” Lachky said. “It’s frustrating to deal with, for the drivers and the walkers.”
The K-State Student Governing Association, through a committee led by Robert Swift, sophomore in psychology, pinpointed the source of the defective lights, and has handled the situation. The reason the crosswalk signals, purchased and installed last spring and summer, were not turning on when activated by the pedestrian button, was simply faulty parts. The lights were procured from a company based out of Wichita, and the company has admitted its fault and issued an apology for the lights not functioning properly, Swift said. Members of SGA said they also would like to extend their apologies to the student body.
“Government relations apologizes for the lights not working, as well as the miscommunication,” Swift said. “There have been accidents caused by the lack of working crosswalk signals, and we want to make sure everybody is aware and knows how to use the new lights.”
Because the crosswalk signals are under warranty, the company is replacing the faulty parts free of charge. The new parts were shipped in last week, and crews immediately went to work on the lights. One crosswalk signal on College Avenue, near Bramlage Coliseum, was completely replaced, while the two lights near Goodnow Hall and several others located off of Manhattan Avenue only needed to have a few defective parts changed out, Swift said.
“All of the lights around campus are now up and working,” Swift said. “We hope this helps cut down on some of the confusion.”
Debbie Berry, an engineering aid specializing in traffic, helped conduct numerous studies up and down Manhattan Avenue in 2000. The research groups completed studies involving speeds and volumes, as well as pedestrian studies. They originally conducted the studies in the 1990s, and helped to make the corner of Vattier and Manhattan Avenue a pedestrian haven, Berry said.
Berry also said the faulty part mix-up was purely accidental, and the university is not blaming the selling company.
Students who have had issues with the crosswalk signals expressed relief that SGA has fixed the situation.
“I think replacing the broken lights will really help cut back on accidents, especially at night,” said Tyler Johnson, sophomore in computer science.
“I live off-campus, so I’ve really had to deal with this problem walking and driving. It will be great to not have to worry about it.”