Letter to the editor: Response to hit and run

I read with interest your article on the hit and run of a pedestrian on 48
th Avenue and Pierce (“Student hit by car on 48 th) in the 15 September edition of the
Lanthorn. It’s not uncommon knowledge that 48th avenue is very dangerous for the non-motorized and no surprise that someone was recently hit. There are plenty of dangerous intersections along 48th and elsewhere around campus. For example, the corner of West Campus Drive and 48th is just a disaster waiting to happen because east and west pedestrian and bike traffic is funneled along the narrow south shoulder. In addition, pedestrians and bikes have to cross against four lanes of traffic (south, north, west, and east).

I find it objectionable that the GVSU campus police blame the victim of this hit and run accident. Their bland comment about how “passionate” they feel seems more oriented toward public relations soundbites rather than resolving a problem. I’m glad they’re passionate about something at least but words do not speak louder than actions.

I’m a long-distance bicyclist who, in some years, biked over 30 times between home in Holland and GVSU. But I quit biking in because it’s too dangerous coming up 48
th avenue or through Allendale on M45. There are other faculty (and students) who ride a bike to GVSU. Every route in and out is very dangerous. It would seem to me that GVSU should develop policy and an action plan to serve students and faculty who choose to come and go without two tons of metal, glass and plastic on wheels.

Some more people will probably have to be injured or, better yet, killed before the lack of adequate non-motorized infrastructure is seriously discussed at GVSU and at the level of Ottawa County.

Roy Cole

GVSU Professor, Department of Geography and Planning