Students’ return means we all must adjust
Despite seeing a substantial increase in students throughout the past few years, it seems Laurier still clings to its ‘small-town’ roots. The nostalgia of that golden age is reiterated across nearly all campus tours and used as a selling feature to attract students from larger city centres.
Coming to Laurier is romanticised to students from the GTA who like the idea of escaping to a quaint and quiet town. The City of Waterloo is also guilty of thinking this way, as it struggles to separate itself from its former identity as a member of small-town Ontario. The truth of the matter is that Kitchener-Waterloo is a rapidly growing region and should be treated as such.
While Laurier is still primarily a one-block campus, its population has nearly doubled in the past ten years and the official population of Kitchener-Waterloo continues to increase over 300,000. With all these people running around, on both sidewalks and roads that are not designed to hold a population of its size, there’s bound to be serious safety concerns.
The intersection at King and University for example, is a major intersection not just for students, but for many permanent residents who rely on these roads to carry them across the city.
The combination of the invincible pedestrian mindset and the busy, impatient drivers creates very dangerous situations and as of late, it’s become apparent that accidents are common.
Both drivers and pedestrians are at fault and both parties should understand that we are not living in a town with one traffic light. With the extra 40,000 students that return each fall, the population of the Waterloo Region is close to half a million.
Knowing this, the City of Waterloo should understand that by adding stress to an already congested network of roads by beginning road construction in August and September only creates more traffic jams which lead to more accidents.
While pedestrians need to pay more attention when crossing the streets and properly obey traffic lights, so too should drivers accommodate those using the crosswalk. This give and take, however, will only go so far in a city that resists growth.
–The Cord Editorial Board