Sidewalks are long overdue


Kyle Sarver

We are pleased that, after years of pointing out the risk to pedestrians walking to campus, there finally appears to be the beginning of action that could provide a more permanent fix for the problems. 

Pitt-Johnstown students who must walk from campus to the College Park Apartments or to and from Walmart create safety concerns due to the lack of sidewalks, particularly at night and during winter.

If a student must walk between campus, College Park Apartments or Walmart, they must either walk on narrow roadway shoulders or through grassy areas.  Maybe that doesn’t present problems in broad daylight on a nice day, but people have to move at other, more dangerous times.  A modern curbed sidewalk network has been needed for years.  

On May 17, ground was broken for a project to build such a sidewalk network using $500,000 from the state Department of Transportation.

According to Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar at the groundbreaking ceremony, the sidewalk is a way of connecting people in Richland Township.

We are pleased that campus administrators are participating in a project to more adequately solve pedestrian safety issues.  A temporary fix was implemented with the shuttle service, which can take students from campus to the College Park Apartments and Walmart.

Although introducing the shuttle was a start to fixing the safety issue, not everyone can ride it at the same time, and it only operates during certain hours.

Introducing the sidewalk provides students with a safe way of traveling when vehicle transportation is not an option for them.  The shuttle service should continue when this part of the sidewalks is finished.

With the sidewalks, students and community members will finally have a safe way of walking through Richland Township, as the project’s final outcome will be a 3.2 mile loop of sidewalk space and a paved bicycle path.

Student safety should always be a priority, and it is a good thing that we are moving to improve it.