The Employee Assembly discussed campus transportation, safety and parking at a forum presented by Cornell’s Department of Transportation and Mail Services Wednesday.
Bridgette Brady, senior director of Cornell’s Department of Transportation and Mail Services, emphasized the importance of maintaining campus safety, citing the high number of vehicles which travel through central campus everyday.
“Campus safety is our number one priority in serving the academic mission,” she said, referencing a map displaying crash areas on campus. “You cannot argue with safety.”
In 2016, the University received three reports of conflicts between pedestrians and motor vehicles, according to Brady. She stressed that these were just the reported conflicts and that many others go unreported.
Brady dismissed a common complaint from drivers on campus that students are distracted by their phones and not paying attention to traffic, showing a video of students interacting with motor vehicles at the East Avenue and Campus Road intersection.
“There aren’t any students on their phone not watching,” she said, defending students. “They’re watching so they don’t get hit by a vehicle.”
The two areas of campus with the most reported incidents are Campus Road and East Avenue, which Brady called “a horrible area for conflicts.”
Brady also discussed parking tickets, explaining that the fines are not used as a revenue source, because the money made from issuing parking tickets “just covers the expenses associated with writing tickets.” She added that parking tickets are used as “a customer service function” to make sure employees who live far away from campus have a place to park their cars.
Brady also said the department plans to work with the University to prioritize the future adoption of electric vehicles.
“The adoption of electric vehicles will not be gradual,” she said. “The range in which they can travel will double within the next year. Right now they’re gadgets, but when they become less expensive, they are coming, and we need to be ready.”