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Aurora, CO 80045-0508

Speed limits support pedestrian safety

Monitoring motorists at Anschutz Medical Campus

3/20/2012
Anschutz Medical Campus
​AURORA, Colo. - As the Anschutz Medical Campus has continued to grow, both motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic on campus have gotten busier and busier.  
 
"We have considered how the original roadways served the campus and we've monitored auto and pedestrian traffic," said Dave Turnquist, associate vice chancellor, Facilities Management. "In response, we have implemented traffic flow adjustments that consider pedestrian safety while supporting efficient motor vehicle traffic needs." Some of these changing pathways and reductions in posted-speed limits have prompted questions. 
 
"After observing activity in various areas on and around campus, we have adjusted some speed limits to avoid accidents," said Police Chief Doug Abraham. 
 
In addition to officers monitoring traffic, large portable/trailer electronic signs are being used to visually alert motorists of their speed. The mobile signs can be moved as needed to monitor areas that pose the greatest problems to saftey. Patrol officers also will issue summons to motorists who violate posted speed limits. 
 
Generally, posted speed limits are 25 mph on perimeter campus streets and 15 mph within the core campus. One exception is a particularly busy area near the School of Dental Medicine. The posted speed there is 5 mph due to heavy foot traffic by visitors.
 
Abraham and Turnquist acknowledge some motorists may believe that accelerating will 'get them to their destination more quickly.' They offer these observations:
--At 25 mph, a car is traveling 37 feet per second. If a pedestrian steps from between cars or suddenly off a curb, by the time the driver sees the threat, processes, reacts and stops the car, they have traveled way too far to avoid the accident. 
--A driver who could travel across the campus unimpeded at 25 mph vs. someone who travels across the campus at 15 mph unimpeded could only save about 45 seconds. 
 
It is important to remember, safety is a top priority for the University’s students, faculty, staff and visitors. 
 
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