Letter: Students should pay attention when crossing the street


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Letter writer Jamie Barker warns parents to remind their students to look both ways and pay attention when crossing the street. She believes that although pedestrians have right-of-way on a college campus, they still need to watch out for cars because they can’t stop at a split-second.

Jamie Barker

A brief note to parents,

Soon there will be a final push for the end of the semester. The one thing I would like you to mention at your tables this year is this: ISU student, please watch where you cross Lincoln Way.

On Nov. 19, after work, I left the Memorial Union, and headed for home myself to enjoy my fur-babies and dinner with my husband. I, too, enjoy family meals around our table. It was already dark in Iowa and the rain had started.

Just a block from campus, a street intersects with Lincoln Way. That street is Ash Street. Sadly, there are balloons, stuffed animals and trinkets of memory at the corner by St. Thomas Aquinas Church. These are there in memory of an ISU sophomore, Emmalee Jacobs, who also attempted to cross that street in mid-December 2015. I do not ever forget that sad event and last night I was glad I do not.

You see, one of your children, likely a student at Iowa State, was crossing that very same (and safety improved) intersection at about 5:15 p.m. that night. In the rain. In the dark. On their phone. Against the red (DO NOT WALK) sign as well as the loudspeaker that chimes “wait, don’t walk, wait.”

My light was green as I headed east down Lincoln Way with the busy traffic. This same green was the same way I felt when I needed to brake very hard to miss this person walking. The person never even looked my way. Just kept walking. How close that was and yet, they never noticed.

I’m happy this person’s family remains intact today and that they are not spending this holiday planning a funeral.

Over two decades I have worked for this fine university and always remind family, friends and visitors that this is a college town and that pedestrians always have the right of way, but students, you have to do your part.

Parents, can you please just remind your students, that although they may feel justified to walk wherever they want, whenever they want, cars are heavy and they do not stop on a dime. Assume the driver does not see you. Be defensive. No one want to lose them. They are important in our lives. 

Thank you from a simple university staff member who cares about your family and our ISU Family.