An automobile struck a female University student at 38th and Spruce streets on Tuesday morning, marking the fifth accident at the intersection this semester.
The Division of Public Safety confirmed that the student was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as a result of the accident.
College sophomore Rafiat Kasumu, who is also a Daily Pennsylvanian photographer, did not actually witness the collision occur while she was crossing 38th Street heading toward campus, but looked over immediately after hearing a person next to her gasp.
Kasumu said that the student — who was walking in the direction of Wawa from the Southwest corner of the intersection — was the only one hit in a large group of people that was crossing. The accident occurred, Kasumu said, after the car attempted to turn right to avoid waiting for the students to get through the crosswalk.
Initially, the car kept driving, but stopped after a student chased it down. The female student was able to stand up, but was crying and appeared in shock, according to Kasumu.
The same intersection the accident occurred at Tuesday has been the home of many car accidents this semester. In the last two months, six people — including four students — have been hospitalized as a result of the five accidents.
The intersection has proven problematic in the past. A 2009 campus transportation study led by Facilities and Real Estate Services and DPS highlighted nine recommendations for improving safety and traffic flow at the intersection.
According to Principal Planner for the Office of the University Architect Mark Kocent, however, only one of those recommendations was implemented — the addition of pedestrian countdown signals which were already being installed when the study was published.
The report — which was put together by traffic engineering firm Orth Rodgers, Inc. — says that “pedestrian safety is a critical issue” at 38th and Spruce streets.
DPS currently does not have patrols at the intersection at peak traffic hours like they do at several other campus intersections like 34th and Walnut streets. DPS has not yet responded for comment as to whether or not they intend to put officers at 38th and Spruce.
The University only has the power to lobby the city and state to make changes at the intersection. The Pennsylvanian Department of Transportation is in charge of the streets, while the City of Philadelphia Streets Department is in charge of traffic signals.
However, neither department has been able to be reached for specific comment on this intersection.Comments powered by Disqus
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