By Kayla Lemay
By now, everyone is sick of the snow. Sick of looking at it, sick of thinking about it, sick of hearing about it. And commuters, especially, are sick of attempting to get to campus in it.
Driving to campus is certainly one facet of commuting – driving when the roads are poorly salted, covered in ice and slush, is just a recipe for disaster.
But I’m not going to shame Bridgewater State University about their snow removal – in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t so bad. The sidewalks, while still pretty icy, at least don’t have four feet of snow covering them.
The town of Bridgewater’s snow removal job is an entirely different story. Sidewalks have gone completely untouched throughout the multitude of storms, resulting in pedestrians being forced to walk in the street.
Just off of Plymouth Street, right by the Swenson parking lot, is the entrance to the Waterford Village apartment complex. In that complex, you will find at least half of them are BSU students.
Waterford Village offers a simple apartment setup and is about as far from class buildings as some residence halls, so it is a perfect solution for students that don’t want to actually live on campus.
Many of these students, including myself, walk from their apartment to get to campus. The closest crosswalk to reach campus is at the Hooper Street intersection. Many students jaywalk to reach the other side of Plymouth Street, which isn’t safe.
At the end of last semester, a student at BSU residing in Waterford Village jaywalked across Plymouth Street, at night, to reach Waterford Village. She was struck by a car. It’s a dangerous stretch of road, as the lighting is extremely poor. To be honest, I don’t even know if there are streetlights in that area.
Imagine students having to walk in the streets, at night, in a poorly lit area, just to get home. There is no shuttle service to Waterford – the closest stops are the Hooper and Swenson stops, so that would still require them to walk in the street.
Many student activities happen at night on campus, some going late into the night. Or students might work as Student Security Officers, which could result in them making that dangerous walk on Plymouth Street at 3 a.m, in the road.
Jennifer Zollo, a senior majoring in Athletic Training at BSU, lives in the Waterford Village apartments.
“The other day I was walking and got so tired of almost getting hit that I just decided to trudge through the snow-filled sidewalks. I wish I was kidding when I say that the snow I was walking through was so high that it covered my butt,” she said. “I got to class and my legs were entirely coated in snow.”
At the rate the snow has been coming, and seems to continue to come, some are saying we won’t see the snow melt fully until as late as May. Students should not be forced to spend an entire semester risking their lives just to get to campus.
“It’s like I have two options: get frostbite on my way to class, or get hit by a car,” Zollo said.
That choice is not something that any person should have to make.
Kayla Lemay is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment. Follow her on Twitter at @klemay123.