TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The death of an FSU student crossing a busy road near campus has sparked a public outcry for enhanced pedestrian safety around campus.
FSU student Natalie Nickchen, 19, was hit and killed while crossing a busy road near campus after a driver ran a red light.
“I cross Tennessee Street every day up at the Copeland intersection. So I've seen how dangerous it is and then when I found out a fellow classmate had gotten killed I just knew I had to do something and start taking action about this,” said FSU student Noelle Enright.
The tragedy inspired Enright to start a petition, which has collected nearly 15,000 signatures.
It seeks to increase safety at the crosswalk by building either a pedestrian overpass or a tunnel below the road.
“Either way, as long as there is an alternate way to cross this road I think it would be a good solution,” said Enright.
Just down the street there is already an underpass leading to campus across the same busy road.
News4Jax witnessed more than a dozen jay-walkers in the hour we spent at the crosswalk.
When we asked students what they thought about the intersection we received mixed responses.
“I see a lot of cars running red lights,” said FSU freshman Naomi Cohen.
“I don't know, it doesn't seem too, too scary,” said FSU senior Colby Saul.
And while most agreed an overpass would increase safety, others questioned whether it would be worth the cost.
“But I feel like people are more aware now of how unsafe this crosswalk is and a bunch of other crosswalks in Tallahassee. But I think 100 percent it would definitely help,” said FSU senior Rose Finkelstein.
The university said it’s speaking with the city and the Florida Department of Transportation to determine the next steps forward.
It said the petition will be considered in that review process.
The universities’ student government is expected to vote on a resolution that would urge the Tallahassee Mayor and Florida Department of Transportation to consider building the overpass or underpass at the intersection.