UWPD increase patrols for people ‘dangerously and illegally’ crossing the street

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The University of Wisconsin Police Department is warning pedestrians of illegal crossings on Madison’s campus, and officers say they are even prepared to write tickets.

UWPD began a weeklong enforcement campaign Tuesday along University Avenue, one of the busiest streets on campus. Community officer Jake Lepper said the problem is focused in the block between the Charter and Mills Street intersections, where there is a lot of construction.

“We’ve noticed an increase in pedestrians walking on the roadway crossing against the crosswalks,” he said “It’s, one, creating an unsafe situation because pedestrians are getting in the way of buses of people commuting, and we’re really just concerned more so about the possibility for a pedestrian to get hit by a bicyclist to get hit by a vehicle.”

Lepper pointed to a statewide issue of fatal car crashes. On East Washington Avenue, another busy downtown Madison corridor, Monday night marked the sixth pedestrian death this year.

By Tuesday afternoon, Lepper said the department had not issued any citations so far.

“I don’t think it’s right that [students] should get fined,” Shaun Luce, a sophomore, said. “They’re just trying their best to get to class.”

Junior Connor Black said, “They’re adding a fine onto a problem that they created. So, unless they want to start writing hall passes for every kid that needs to sit at that light and wait forever, it’s going to be a problem that persists.”

According to Lepper, the education and enforcement initiative will last until Friday, when it will then be assessed by officers. He said UWPD is not just enforcing traffic laws for pedestrians, but for drivers too, the department ran a speed enforcement campaign before students returned to campus this fall.

ATTENTION SPEED WALKERS, RUNNERS, PRANCERCISERS, SKIPPERS… Starting today, we’re posting officers on University Ave...

Posted by UW-Madison Police Department on Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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