Student Union crosswalk causes frustration

Posted on Oct 1 2013 - 8:50am by Amina Al Sherif


Every student and visitor who drives or walks through The University of Mississippi campus is acutely aware of the obstacle of crossing the Student Union crosswalk, whether by vehicle or on foot.

Moving like a slow-motion Tetris game, the Union crosswalk delays vehicle traffic due to heavy pedestrian movement between classes, or vice versa, depending on whether you are behind the wheel or trying to get to class.

According to Isaac Astill, director of parking and transportation, nearly 12,000 parking stalls are filled every day with traffic on campus, indicating that almost as many vehicles drive through campus on a daily basis.

Ron Biggs, the general manager of Oxford Transit Management, which runs the O.U.T bus system, confirmed that the culprit crosswalk causes buses to fall anywhere from 10-20 minutes behind schedule, at times causing the entire transit system to lag in schedule.

“In many cases, a passenger ends up waiting a longer period of time waiting on a connecting bus,” Biggs said.

The holdup of vehicle traffic at the crosswalk has caused emotions to rise.

Sara Arnold, publications editor for the Southern Foodways Alliance in Barnard Observatory, drives her vehicle across the crosswalk every day and said that “people in cars get very aggravated” when held up behind the wheel, and the holdups can last anywhere from five to 10 minutes.

Cobra Security employees said that while the crosswalk does not affect them, it definitely affects the four-way stop by backing up traffic moving toward the Union. Oftentimes a University Police Department officer is seen directing traffic at this narrow chokehold.

Astill said the Ole Miss campus is migrating toward being a pedestrian campus where more and more vehicles will only be allowed on the perimeter.

John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance in Barnard Observatory, said he believes the campus should be primarily pedestrian, as the campus’ priority is the students being able to move from class to class.

“The problem is the cars, not the students,” Edge said.