It’s an experience many students living south of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus know all too well. While speed-walking to a class that starts shortly, students are stopped dead in their tracks by the glowing red hand on the opposite side of the road.
That’s Sheridan Road, specifically. The crosswalk at the intersection of North Kenmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road is a small but significant part of most Loyola students’ daily routines, bridging the gap between many residence halls and the main campus. The cumulative amount of time a single student will stand at that stop signal over his or her four years at Loyola is staggering, at an average of almost two days.
In order to calculate a figure for that time, The Phoenix factored in the classes, weekend crosswalk use, Halas Recreation Center use and dining hall use of a first-year in San Francisco Hall and approximated that the students living south of Sheridan Road use the crosswalk between 34 and 40 times each week.
In order to estimate the average time spent waiting for the green walk signal, The Phoenix took the mean time from an average number of crosswalk uses per week and multiplied it by the amount of crosswalk uses in four years.
Given that there’s 30 weeks in each school year, or 120 weeks in all four years, students use the crosswalk at least 4,080 times before graduation. With an average wait time of 36 seconds, a student on average could spend what equates to 1.7 days waiting for the light to change.
With the significant number of students who need to cross at each walk interval, a longer countdown before the signal changes may help cut down on those wait times. Sophomore Sydney Maten, 20, said students would benefit from a longer, 20-second walk interval.
“I feel like … the cross time should be longer,” said the psychology major. “It’s … kind of annoying to wait there … [when you] rush to class.”
Maten added that she runs to cross the street when the countdown is low or she dodges cars during a wait signal if she’s in a hurry. She acknowledged that could be dangerous.
Danger is a common risk that comes with crossing Sheridan. According to first-year student Jo Cepeda, the busy rush hour drivers can cause issues for students even when they have a walk signal.
“A lot of the times … people are so in a hurry … that they’ll completely ignore the crosswalk … [and] cars will [drive] straight through,” said Cepeda, a 19-year-old political science and ad/PR double major.
Cesar Mireles is another student who said he was annoyed by how little time students have to cross the busy street.
“There’s less walk time than cars have a green light,” said Mireles, a 20-year-old sophomore.
Mireles added that the crosswalk time should be as long as it is between Simpson and Regis and the main campus, about 20 seconds, as it could cut down on the hectic rush of large groups of students at each interval.
“Kids have to get to class,” said the biology major.