A vehicle rolls past a stop sign near Whitehorse Hall, an issue that has become a serious safety concern for pedestrians. / Jeff Hagglund
Whether students are trudging up the hill from Broadway or cars are jostling for coveted spaces in the parking lots, the three-way stop on Tower Street outside of Whitehorse gets a workout from foot and road traffic.
On any given morning, you’re likely to see at least one incident where pedestrian meets car. Cars blowing stop signs, students almost being hit, jaywalking – these are common occurrences outside of the college, and may get worse once construction is complete on Liberty Hall, the new nursing building at EvCC.
On a frigid, bleak, rainy Monday morning from 8:50 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., 13 cars blew through the stop signs of the three-way road, one of the incidents happening in front of a campus security vehicle. Cars tended to stop only when they had to; 10 cars used the “California stop” maneuver while leaving the parking lot.
Two cars nearly hit pedestrians, three if you include myself, who was almost hit twice as I crossed the street to report on this story.
There was also one incident of two vehicles going out of turn, resulting in a sudden stop for both cars.
It’s not completely the drivers’ fault, with one group of students crossing the road diagonally instead of using the crosswalks.
Cory Hert, assistant traffic engineer for the city of Everett, said that there have been three incidents reported at the three-way stop in the last five years, all of them involving vehicles and pedestrians. These incidents, called “injury collisions,” were not serious according to Hert.
Mark Tolle, part of campus security, said that they “make enforcement efforts regularly,” although he agrees the number of cars and pedestrians disobeying stop sign and crosswalk laws is frequent and there have been “lots of close calls.”
Tolle said that the Everett Police Department does keep an eye on the crosswalk.
Students should always be safe and follow the speed and traffic laws when driving, and always be aware of vehicles when crossing the street.