Letter: Setting the record straight on Walk-Only Zones

In response to Kelcie Grega’s April 8 article, titled “New penalties implemented in walk-only zones,” Aubrey McCleve’s April 7 column “Walk-only zone enforcement stings with a $15 price tag” and The State Press’ April 9 editorial “Love bikes. Hate enforcement.

While the opinion column written by Aubrey McCleve and the article by Kelcie Grega do not clearly define the Walk-Only Zones second level penalty, the Editorial Board article posted April 9, 2014, provided false information about the progressive penalties. The following points clarify Walk-Only Zones facts:

1.Bicycle Safety class fees:

An individual may be required to attend a Bicycle Safety class for failure to abide by the Tempe Campus Transportation Code relating to use of a non-transit device (bike, scooter, skateboard, etc.). The enforcement section of the Walk-Only Zones website accurately notes Bicycle Safety class fees: “A $15 class fee must be paid at the start of class. Only cash and money orders payable to the ASU Police Department are accepted.”

 

 

The $15 Bicycle Safety class fee is the same whether it is received as an ASU Police citation, a Tempe Police citation, or a Walk-Only Zones violation. Anyone is free to pay the $15 class fee and attend the Bicycle Safety class on their own volition. Visit walk.asu.edu/enforcement.html for information about class dates and details.

It also should be noted that students who fail to take a Bicycle Safety class in the required 30 days following receipt of the second violation automatically will progress to the third level violation: A referral to the ASU Dean of Students.

2.Student support of campus pedestrian safety zones:

The (Tempe Undergraduate) Student Government-run “Walk Your Wheels” campaign raised awareness, but failed to create behavior change after two years of implementation. Our team engaged Jordan Davis, who then was the Tempe USG student body president, for his feedback about Walk-Only Zones prior to its fall 2013 launch. Davis publically demonstrated his support of the Zones and appeared in a promotional video that was posted on the Walk-Only Zones website.

Walk-Only Zones behaviors also have been the research subject of ASU students from the fall 2013 session of COM 230 — Small Group Communication. Zone enforcement scenarios were included in COM 230 students’ feedback as a means to curb the behaviors of Zone guidelines violators. Additionally, some ASU 101 instructors have included Walk-Only Zones information in their courses.

3.Continuing education and new student orientation:

Since its fall 2013 launch, the Walk-Only Zones dramatically have reduced mixed-traffic congestion on campus pathways. This change is due in large part to the Walk-Only Zones Ambassadors team that has been educating ASU travelers about campus pedestrian safety since the Zones were established. Marketing pieces including videos and campus signage support the Ambassadors’ person-to-person educational efforts. Walk-Only Zones fliers also were included in the fall 2013 ASU new student orientation bags; a promotional video replaced the fliers at spring 2014 new student orientation.

4.Enforcement marketing:

A formal campus mall enforcement process was not established immediately at the fall 2013 Walk-Only Zones launch. While many campus travelers comply with Walk-Only Zones guidelines, some choose not to, therefore, enforcement is the next logical step to ensure campus pedestrian safety. Enforcement marketing began in February 2014 with inter-campus shuttle videos. Ambassadors also began handing out fliers to campus travelers alerting them to the April 1, 2014 enforcement start date.

Walk-Only Zones educational and enforcement processes are similar to other universities that also are promoting campus pedestrian safety. More than 25 other major U.S. universities have created similar safety zones, including nine in the Pac-12, which are listed in the FAQ section on the walk.asu.edu website.

It is unfortunate that the Walk-Only Zones team received no formal inquiry from The State Press staff prior to the publication of the aforementioned articles referenced in this letter. Our team is diligent about responding to every Walk-Only Zones inquiry and comment that it receives, and always welcomes input and feedback. Visit walk.asu.edu, to find our feedback form in the drop-down menu located under the contact tab.

Rudy Bellavia

Managing Director

Office of the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer