ASU students might have noticed something different this semester while walking between the Memorial Union and Hayden Lawn.
Men and women wearing yellow T-shirts are scattered throughout the area, asking people to stop riding their bicycles and skateboards.
Rudy Bellavia, managing director of the Office of Business and Finances, said the walk-only zones are aimed to improve the safety of foot traffic on campus and go into effect from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
“The walk-only zones were developed for areas where they are high foot traffic,” he said. “Phase one is right by the MU.”
ASU has created a website where students can watch videos and find more about the walk-only zones.
Bellavia said the University received many complaints about the Tempe campus’s growing population and increased number of bicycle riders.
“About 15 percent of our population is riding on bicycles, and we are trying to improve the areas that have the heavy foot traffic,” he said.
Many students and faculty members have been very supportive of the measure, Bellavia said.
“We do receive some feedback and suggestions on instituting the bike lanes and across the campus,” he said.
However, not all reactions from the ASU community have been positive.
Music education major Nicole Sanchez, who uses bikes to get to class, said she did not know how to feel about the new zones.
“I think it’s good, but I don’t think it’s very effective, because they can’t really punish you when you ride on your bike,” she said. “I think it’s good to the people that walk, because I know a lot of people got hit by bikes last year.”
Sanchez regularly rides her bicycle to campus and noticed it takes longer for people on bikes to get to their destination, but she said she has noticed huge improvements with the traffic flow.
Communications senior Erika Vega, who typically walks to class, said she thinks the campaign is a great idea, because bicycles have been close to hitting her many times.
“Especially being a small person, it’s more scary sometimes, because the bikes are two-thirds of my height,” she said.
Vega said despite the measure, people continue riding their bicycles through the area, and there should be a better way to enforce it.
More walk-only zones would benefit the campus, Vega said.
“I think they started a pretty good thing here,” she said. “I would like eventually if they could actually paint the sidewalks with distinct wheel and pedestrian traffic areas.”
Bellavia said other phases of the walk-only zones will come in the future.
“Right now, we are still in discussion,” he said. “We’re not identifying the other two phases quite yet, but we will start finding those probably in the next month or so.”
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @stephguzmannews
Correction: Because of a reporting error, a previous version of this article misquoted Rudy Bellavia and gave an incorrect figure for the approximate percent of the ASU population that rides bicycles on campus. The article has been updated to reflect the correct amount of 15 percent.