Too many times last semester, I found myself narrowly dodging speeding cars along Tondorf Drive. More than once, I honestly felt that my physical wellbeing had been threatened during my near-daily journey between the Leavey Center and the dining hall. Most often, I felt that the motorist and I shared the blame for these near misses.

It is commonplace nowadays to hear school systems, the government and other institutions talk about their efforts to prevent car accidents involving pedestrians. Here at Georgetown we have a perfect opportunity to act on that common sense intention. If you are one of the numerous students or faculty members who regularly treks up and down the busy thoroughfare that is Tondorf Drive (stretching from O’Donovan Dining Hall to the Medical Center), there is a good chance you have had a close encounter with a speeding automobile or a mammoth GUTS bus.

Pedestrians, motorists and university administrators can all help prevent a tragedy on Tondorf Drive by keeping in mind a few basic safety precautions and implementing simple precautionary measures.

Let’s look first at how pedestrians like me can help preserve our own lives. Most of our parents surely insisted since we were children that, as a rule, we always use sidewalks and crosswalks when provided. Whenever I set out on Tondorf Drive, I observe nearly all the pedestrians, including myself, ignoring the sidewalk, so nicely cemented and landscaped alongside the ICC. We must have forgotten the lesson which our parents taught us. Indeed, this common sense idea to use the sidewalk can keep us adults as safe today as it did when we were younger.

Georgetown has generously provided well-placed crosswalks (and sometimes even crossing guards) at several convenient points along Tondorf Drive. Whether one is traveling to Yates, Leo’s, Leavey or any other destination via this route, the crosswalks should be used diligently.

The motorists among us, whether driving a passenger car, DPS vehicle or GUTS bus, must also do their part to prevent a tragedy from occurring on campus. The way I often see people recklessly fly down Tondorf Drive makes me think the speed limit must be about 30 or even 40 miles per hour. Certainly this is not the case on such a busy road so often shared by pedestrians and vehicles.

My main challenge for drivers is simple: slow down! Reducing speed is the easiest way for a driver to avoid a collision with a pedestrian.

To the credit of most drivers I have seen, most drivers seem to consistently observe the stop signs along Tondorf Drive. But there are some drivers who apparently do not see the worth in stop signs. Thus, all drivers on campus should obey the stop signs as meticulously as they would on any other road.

The university should take steps to remind pedestrians and drivers of their responsibilities to those around them on Tondorf Drive. Signs calling attention to a speed limit and encouraging the use of sidewalks and crosswalks should be posted immediately. Perhaps DPS could take the initiative to promote the same precautions by actively encouraging drivers to slow down and pedestrians to use caution when walking.

It is imperative that the pedestrians and motorists of Tondorf Drive, including myself, change their behavior to heed the safety measures I am proposing. The university should take an active role in supporting this initiative.

Hopefully, if all three parties take on their respective, precautionary responsibilities, no HOYA reporter will find him or herself writing about a tragic accident on Tondorf Drive.

James Hilson is a sophomore in the College and opinion editor at THE HOYA.

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