Nearly one year after Undergraduate Student Government’s Walk Your Wheels initiative began, University administration is still supportive and optimistic for the campaign’s success, outgoing USG Vice President of Services Kaitlin O’Neil said.
The administration is allowing the campaign to continue for another year and was pleased with the success and attention USG brought to the Tempe campus regarding pedestrian safety.
“It’s not as much progress that we wanted to see, ultimately, but it was a good start,” O’Neil said.
The campaign officially launched on Sept. 28 and initially received a lot of negative responses from the ASU community.
At the start of the spring semester, O’Neil said the administration pushed USG to increase campaign efforts or harsher restrictions for wheeled transportation around campus would be put in place.
University Business Services Communications Specialist Sarah Mason said the Tempe campus has been safer since the start of the campaign and more students are becoming increasingly aware of pedestrian safety.
“We are happy to see the USG’s efforts have paid off in a higher awareness of Walk Your Wheels and the subject of traffic on the malls,” she said.
The University would also like to see USG participate in more education and outreach efforts for new students, Mason said.
“We are confident in the USG and their passion to reach out to all on the Tempe campus to walk their wheels,” she said.
O’Neil said USG will recruit staff for Walk Your Wheels during the summer and increase communication with Residential Life to inform incoming freshmen about the campaign.
“One of the biggest changes is bring community assistance … getting freshmen a lot information,” O’Neil said.
Geography junior Matt Lenz said he supports the Walk Your Wheels initiative and has always ridden his bike on the outskirts of campus to avoid weaving in and out of the student population.
“I support it, but I haven’t actually done anything about it (other than) when it’s actually crowded, I get off (my bike),” he said.
There’s not much else USG can really do to deter students from riding through traffic, Lenz said, but he would like to see more students ride their bicycles, skateboards or scooters around the outskirts of campus.
Lenz also said he has noticed USG staff campaigning for students to walk their wheels, but the middle of the campus, such as in front of the Memorial Union, still sees a lot of heavy ridership.
“I’ve seen (USG) out, but everyone keeps riding by,” Lenz said. “The signs are nice but how many people actually follow it?”
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