UNM works in increase pedestrian safety

Posted at: 05/09/2013 5:46 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The University of New Mexico is looking at ways to improve pedestrian safety near and around campus. This comes a month after a woman was struck by a university bus as she was crossing the Lomas and Yale intersection.

Campus police said 58 year-old Sharon Broome may have been reading a book when she was hit.

Broome has had a number of surgeries since the accident but is expected to recover. Now, UNM is thinking about making changes at the intersection, but students KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke to say the real issue is with distracted walkers.

LaToya Lozoya said she feels safe when she’s walking on campus but when she’s driving.

“I kind of have to push my breaks right away,” said Lozoya.

She said talking on their phones as they walk - not paying attention.

"I think it’s because of the fact that 'it’s okay, I’m a pedestrian' I get the right of way,” said Lozoya.

The vice president for UNM student affairs wants to change that.

“Safety is definitely our priority,” said Eliseo “Cheo” Torres.

How big of a problem are distracted walkers? KOB 4 wanted to know. We stood Lomas and Yale for 10 minutes and saw three distracted walkers either on their phone or listening to music.

But KOB 4 found out the problem doesn’t only lie with walkers but also drivers.

“We will be working with the city on striping the city owned streets. We’re looking at flashlights. We’re looking at a number of initiatives to tell the students be cautious,” added Torres.

UNM would focus on making pedestrian crossings more visible on Lomas and Yale as well as areas along Central.

“You’re in college. You should look both ways,” said Torres.