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Fix lights, roads for better impression

By JACK WALSWORTH/ VN NEWS EDITOR
On April 7, 2015

The University of Detroit Mercy’s McNichols campus is a gated university.

There’s no getting around that.

So what happens when the traffic lights go out on McNichols?

Well, it’s not fun.

As a commuter student, the past month or so has been frustrating when I look down McNichols off Livernois and I see all the traffic lights at the intersection to the gate are out.

Student and faculty traffic gets backed up, the booth being so close to the street doesn’t help either, and some drivers on McNichols don’t stop at the light, even though when a traffic light is out, it’s supposed to be treated as a stop sign.

It’s quite the combination, especially when a driver speeds through the intersection. That’s my favorite.

And if the lights are indeed out, I’ll just go down to the Livernois entrance, which is no big deal.

But that’s beside the point.

What bugs me is this: How can UDM, a commuter school, with two entrances and two exits not have some sort of a backup system in place for the lights?

And how can Detroit, a city broadcasting that it’s on the comeback, not make sure that the traffic lights in and out of an established university are always working?

I get that power outages happen and I get that the city is still relatively fresh off a bankruptcy. But after a week or so of the lights not working it just doesn’t make sense.

Another frustrating thing, too, is the fact that just when I think they’re finally fixed, the lights go out again.

You just never know.

But I do know this: It’s not safe for students, faculty or drivers on McNichols.

Are the lights being out a sign that UDM shouldn’t have the fence?

Perhaps.

But that’s an argument for a different day.

Recently, UDM had an accepted-students day.

Hundreds of high school students and their families were on campus learning more about our university.

Can you imagine if the lights were out then?

That would be quite the impression for all the parents and, of course, prospective students.

And while we’re on the topic of making a good impression, something needs to be done about the roads by Kassab Mall, Reno and Holden.

If it rains, the countless potholes fill with puddles and it only further shows the road’s lack of durability.

The same goes for the light posts on Livernois that proudly hang UDM banners.

The lights don’t work at night, despite the thousands of new, efficient streetlights being installed across the city, including the ones on stretches on Livernois closer to 8 Mile.

Plus, the bases and poles are so rusted out that often times I wonder just how they’re still standing.

Back in September, there was an announcement about how UDM, the state and other agencies would be improving the appearance of Livernois, the “Gateway to UDM’s McNichols campus,” according to President Garibaldi.

Honestly, besides the dirt being dug up and some Charlie Brown-esque trees being planted in the median, I really haven’t seen much of those improvements.

Will some of the improvements be made over the summer when students are at home?

I sure hope so.

For me, that would be a great welcome back to campus and a great way to kick off my senior year.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Walsworth is VN news editor

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