Letter from the Editor: Sidewalk safety a concern at UAF
Danny Fisher / Editor-in-Chief
Within the span of two days, sidewalks went from safe to treacherous and back after several inches of snow and rain fell. On the night of Starvation Gulch, the path between MBS and the Nenana parking lot saw its fair share of falls due to a layer of ice, and the proper sidewalks weren’t much safer.
The sudden onset of winter justifies these temporary conditions, but in my time at UAF I have found that snowy, slippery sidewalks are a problem that persists throughout the school year. Efforts by UAFPD to distribute ice cleats to students are much appreciated, but I wonder if there are more sustainable measures UAF could be taking on the matter. The snow and ice puts all students, staff and faculty members at risk of falling and possibly sustaining injury on their way to and from class and work. I won’t speculate about the risks or inconveniences students with mobility problems face in trying to get around after a fresh snow or ice rain.
Heated sidewalks are probably a bit much to ask for amid budget cuts and shortfalls, but perhaps there are more straightforward architectural solutions that would not only improve safety, but in the long run reduce pedestrian transit maintenance costs – shout out to civil engineering students! As an art student, I’m more qualified to decorate the solution than to come up with it, but covered walkways and more stairways between the SRC and MBS to make the hill more manageable come to mind.
In any case, stay safe out there and walk carefully as winter truly settles in, else suffer a bruised bum!