For the first time, MU will turn a spotlight on pedestrian safety this week.
PAVE Week will be observed with events Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. PAVE stands for Pedestrian and Vehicle Education.
“The purpose of this campaign is to improve pedestrian safety on campus,” said Peter Ashbrook, director of environmental health and safety for MU. “The key message is for both drivers and pedestrians to have mutual respect for each other.”
Kristen Temple, assistant director for residential academic programs, helped to organize PAVE activities. She said the events are designed to catch the attention of people on foot and people behind the wheel.
“We’re hoping it will target everybody,” she said.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, students using certain pedestrian crosswalks will be offered free soda by students from MU’s Department of Student Life. Those crosswalks will be close to the intersection of Stewart Road and Sixth Street, the intersection of Eighth and Elm streets, the intersection of Hitt and Rollins streets and on University Avenue near the University Avenue parking garage.
Stickers attached to each soda can will show national and local statistics about how often pedestrians use crosswalks. There also will be advice on pedestrian safety.
But walkers are not the only ones who can get a treat. On Tuesday and Wednesday, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., drivers leaving certain parking garages will be handed a sheet of statistics on how to be a safe driver, with a Hershey’s Kiss attached.
The garages tentatively planned for the handout are Turner Avenue, Hitt Street, University Avenue and Virginia Avenue.
On Thursday, paper footprints with more information about PAVE week will be placed by the Rollins Street bus stop, where students catch the buses to Trowbridge and Hearnes parking lots.
The footprints are intended to encourage people to use crosswalks instead of crossing anywhere on Rollins Street.
The week will be finished off on Saturday, with a public service announcement at the MU-Eastern Illinois football game, reminding fans to be cautious pedestrians and drivers.
Pedestrian safety received more attention last year than it had in previous years after an accident in September in which MU Professor Bruce Bullock was hit by a car as he crossed University Avenue.
Ashbrook, the safety director, said three advertising students devised the PAVE campaign as part of a class in strategic campaigns. The group was asked to design an ad campaign to address pedestrian safety at MU.
“We followed their recommendations closely,” Ashbrook said.