Crossing guard directs pedestrians in a crosswalk

Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

Crossing Guards Help Address Silo Congestion

by | Mar 21, 2023 | On Campus

Starting this week, two crossing guards in fluorescent yellow vests will be standing amid the hustle and bustle on the stretch of Hutchison Drive between the Silo and the Teaching and Learning Complex. A crossing guard will be present at the entry and exit to the Silo bus terminal between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday on days when classes are held, through the end of the academic year. They began Monday.

Crossing guards on a college campus?

“The Silo area is a major hub of campus activities with 30 buses coming in and out during the passing periods,” said Jeff Flynn, general manager of ASUCD Unitrans, referring to the 10-minute intervals between classes near the top of the hour.

Thousands of people — pedestrians, cyclists and a growing number riding “micromobility devices” such as electric bikes, scooters and boards — are also on the move during passing periods. These factors have increased congestion and the potential for accidents in the area, which grew even more congested last year with the opening of the Teaching and Learning Complex.

John Lovenburg is a crossing guard on campus

John Lovenburg directs traffic on campus. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The congestion can pose risks for bus passengers too, as when a bus driver is forced to make an abrupt stop. “We hope this pilot program will help everyone get to and from the Silo area more smoothly and safely,” Flynn said.

To reduce the potential for accidents, the crossing guards will hold back pedestrians, bicyclists and other people in the street and on the sidewalks, to make a path for buses, tractor-trailer rigs and other large vehicles, especially during passing periods.

New interventions

ASUCD leadership, in consultation with the recently formed Micromobility Infrastructure Improvement and Micromobility Education and Outreach workgroups on campus, identified the Silo bus terminal area as the prime candidate for crossing support, and decided to address the potential safety issue for the rest of the academic year through funding this pilot program.

Trained to handle traffic

The trained crossing guards are from Sacramento-based Members in Black (MIB) Private Security, a frequent provider of staffing for campus events, including UC Davis athletics.

You can identify them on campus by their yellow vests and orange glow wands, and you’ll know they are on duty when you see and experience the smooth flow of traffic around the Silo bus terminal this winter and spring.