Campus traffic safety urged as campus again bustling with activity

August 21, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University police are once again urging pedestrian and bicycle safety as students begin the 2014-15 academic year.

"We have well-marked designated street crossings throughout campus, and we ask that pedestrians use them," Purdue police Capt. Eric Chin said. "We also ask that motorists be very aware of the heavy foot and cyclist traffic and help ensure everyone's safety."

Motorists, including bicyclists, he said, are required to yield to pedestrians. However, even at a crosswalk, a walker can't just assume a car driver or cyclist sees them and is going to stop.

Changes made around campus are intended to help with bicycle traffic. The city of West Lafayette on Monday (Aug. 18) changed Fourth Street near campus to a one-way, eastbound street for all automobile traffic in order to allow for enhanced bicycle infrastructure. While bicyclists may travel on any road, share-the-road arrows, or "sharrows," remind all travelers to remain alert in areas specifically designated as bicycle routes. Sharrows on Fourth Street indicate that bicyclists and motorists will share the road when traveling eastbound, and a contraflow bicycle lane is in place to allow bicyclists to travel westbound on Fourth Street against automobile traffic. In addition to the changes on Fourth Street, new sharrows are also being painted on First and Third streets.

Chin said drivers, riders and walkers should keep distractions to a minimum. That means limiting the use of iPods, cell phones and other mobile devices when navigating campus and near-campus areas.

Chin says bicyclists also must know campus guidelines and laws and be courteous. Cyclists should ride at a slow pace and not weave around people in crowded areas. Rather, they should walk the bike until they're clear of the crowd.

Cyclists are subject to the same laws as vehicles, which include not riding the wrong way on one-way streets in the absence of a contraflow lane or disregarding traffic lights and stop signs. Bikes also should have the proper equipment, such as headlights and taillights, and cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets and visible clothing.

Bicycles may be ridden on designated drives and bike paths but not on sidewalks unless otherwise posted.

The university requires that bicycles on university property be registered with the Purdue Police Department. Registration is free and is valid for five years. Details on bicycle registration are available at Bike owners can pick up a sticker at the police department, 205 S. Martin Jischke Drive.

West Lafayette city residents must register their bikes with city police.

For more information, including news and alerts, safety tips, and a campus bicycle route map, go to

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, 

Source: Eric Chin, 765-494-8221,

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