A Program to Enhance Transportation Safety on the Medical School Campus

“Walk Smart. Bike Smart. Drive Smart.”

The Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety and Education Program has the straightforward goal of making the WashU School of Medicine campus a safe place for all types of commuters. The WUSM community had the chance to see this program represented at the recent Earth Day festival in Hope Plaza. Volunteers handed out educational materials encouraging the use of alternative transportation methods, safety gear for pedestrians and bikers (reflective arm bands, whistle/flashlight keychains, and lighted bracelets), and Smarties® candy to encourage commuters to be “smart” while walking, biking, and driving.

Initiated in the spring of 2017 by the WUSM Operations and Facilities Management Department, the program is currently growing its scope. In conjunction with the development of educational and outreach components, the program fosters a safer infrastructure for all transportation modes on campus. Some of the proposed physical improvements include: restriping crosswalks, adding temporary signage near crosswalks, syncing crosswalk signals with vehicle stoplights, widening lanes to accommodate cyclists, and adding turn lanes to improve traffic flow. All of the proposed improvements are based on recommendations from a recent Master Crosswalk Study by Lochmueller Group.

The committee members developing this program are staff members in the Operations & Facilities Management Department and include Michelle Lewis – Planner, Communication & Strategic Planning, Emma Snyder – Planning Analyst, Ken Zimmerman – Director of Central Operations & Services, and John Ursch – Executive Director of Public Safety & Campus Services. As the medical campus extends beyond the WashU School of Medicine, campus partners and neighbors Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy have also been invited to participate in the discussion and implementation of program objectives in the future.

As an urban campus with nearly 23,000 employees, the School of Medicine’s Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety and Education Program encourages drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to be smart while on campus,” said John Ursch, who leads the program team. “With the recent national report of nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths across the United States in 2017, it’s more important than ever to get the message out to our campus to be safe from distracted driving and walking. As our program states, we encourage all School of Medicine staff, faculty and students to walk smart, bike smart and drive smart”.

Program updates and project timelines will be added to the website once developed. Stay tuned for an upcoming promotional video this summer that will highlight the program’s successes and goals as well as provide tips for pedestrians and commuters.

For more information, visit the program’s webpage or contact Michelle Lewis at lewismichelle@wustl.edu.