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Monday, February 26, 2024

Following promises to improve traffic safety, Student Government is taking steps to make University Avenue a safer place for pedestrians.

Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday advocating for pedestrian safety at the intersection of University Avenue and Northwest 26th Street. The resolution, titled Resolution Addressing the Need for a Crosswalk Across University Avenue from 26th Street, pledges Senate’s support for safety measures, including a crosswalk and solar-powered flashing pedestrian lights. 

The resolution states that a blind spot in the intersection puts both cars and pedestrians in danger. 

The intersection comes in the way of students who wish to use bus stops on either side of the street or to get to the Levin College of Law, according to the resolution. In order to avoid crossing the busy intersection, students are forced to walk six blocks to the nearest crosswalk on Northwest 22nd Street. 

University Avenue has been the site of multiple pedestrian deaths between 2020 and 2021. UF students Sophia Lambert and Maggie Paxton both died within a month of each other on the four-lane highway. An Alligator investigation from April 2021 found there had been 70 pedestrian crashes on University Avenue since 2016. 

The authors of the resolution, Senate President Annabelle Groux (Gator, District A), Senator Gabriella Peburn (Gator, Engineering)  and Information and Communications Committee Chair Shannon Locascio (Gator, District A), did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

While speaking at public comment during Tuesday’s evening meeting, Peburn and Locascio said this specific intersection was brought up as a concern as they spoke to their constituents.

“These terrible losses compelled several great leaders in the community to create changes that would ensure the wellbeing of every pedestrian going forward,” Peburn said. 

Contact Allessandra at Follow her on Twitter @ainzinna.

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Allessandra Inzinna

Allessandra is a third-year journalism major with a minor in English. In the past, she has covered local musicians and the cannabis industry. She is now the Student Government reporter for The Alligator. Allessandra paints and plays guitar in her free time. 

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