The Lynchburg City council denied Liberty University’s plea to put a pedestrian crosswalk at the Liberty Annex near the corner of Odd Fellows Road and Albert Lankford Drive even in light of the recent accident involving Liberty University student Kung Jin Oh.
Kung Jin Oh, 22, was hit by a semi truck and left in critical condition for several days before recovering to stable condition after several surgeries. She was crossing the street to head to her dorm when she was hit.
Liberty University General Counsel David Corry is not confident that the city will consider to put a crosswalk or anything that would ensure safety for pedestrians at the Annex.
“Unfortunately, I do not have any reason for optimism yet. The city’s position is that it will put up caution signs but no crosswalk. That’s no better than the warnings about the potential deer crossing in an area,” Corry said.
There have been efforts to put a crosswalk at the Annex since late 2012, but none have been successful.
City Manager Kimball Payne suggests that there are more factors to safety at the Annex that by just putting down a crosswalk would not solve the real issues. But rather, create a false sense of security among pedestrians, being counterproductive.
Some students have complained about having to cross the street if they miss the bus in order to make the bus in time for class, and feeling unsafe doing so.
**Jay Bright, a Liberty University student that resides at the Annex, said, “I think the lighting of the road in that area is the issue. There doesn’t need to be a crosswalk necessarily. It’s also the students responsibility to make the bus in time if they feel uncomfortable crossing the street because they woke up late.”
Liberty has offered an Annex 1 to Annex 2 shuttle every five minutes to encourage students to use the bus instead of crossing the street but their use is not as high as they would have hoped.
Corry said that Oh is recovering well from the incident and Liberty University is not pursuing any legal action against the city of Lynchburg for not granting earlier pleas for the crosswalk.
by Matthew G. Ozburn
**Denotes extra work.