By: Christina Acevedo
Photography by: Marlene Wang
Update 10/14/2019: This article previously mistakenly stated that the most recent accident on Arroyo Drive as of Sept. 11 had been recorded on Aug. 9, this has been corrected to state that as of Oct. 4, the last non-injury traffic collision was recorded on Aug. 12. The date of the accident that Christopher Paul Martinez witnessed has also been changed from Aug. 9 to Aug. 7. Descriptions of the Aug. 9 accident and the student’s injuries have been removed as well.
Due to growing concerns about pedestrian safety, in particular around Arroyo Drive, the UCI Police Department has aimed to decrease traffic accidents through education and greater enforcement of traffic laws.
“Our focus is more on the prevention, education and enforcement associated with traffic laws within the university,” Lieutenant Matthew Mahoney said.
Similarly, UCI Transportation and Distribution Services, who handle the engineering of UCI’s roadways, are working towards improving safety on the street through an organized group that is said to include both experts and students.
While specifics about what will be done to Arroyo Drive have remained unclear, Mahoney claimed that campus police have worked to address recent issues by establishing a greater police presence as well as using direct enforcement to issue citations.
“I know with the school year that’s starting up again we’ve got some new residential housing opening up over on Arroyo and California,” he said. “I’ve asked, especially for the month of September, for increased patrol, education and enforcement, meaning citations, for that area over there. I do think having police presence in that area does help reduce speeds and other behaviors that are conducive of injury traffic collisions.”
According to Mahoney, as of Oct. 4, the last recorded non-injury traffic collision on the street was Aug. 12 of this year.
UCI sophomore Christopher Paul Martinez—who witnessed an accident on Aug. 7—and other students, have continued to demonstrate concern because alleged traffic collisions have continued to happen.
One such incident is said to have taken place on Sept. 6. The student involved in this accident indicated that she was hit from behind on her bicycle while attempting to make a left turn onto East Peltason from Campus Drive. Her subsequent injuries included scrapes as well as a sprained wrist.
To help encourage street safety, Mahoney suggested that drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians exercise more caution when traveling as well as minimize distractions such as radios and cell phones. As a final comment, he wished to emphasize the UCI Police Department’s commitment to the protection of those on campus.
“We do take pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle safety very serious,” he said. “And when we see little hot spots that pop up with collisions or complaints, we do try to partner with our parking and transportation partners in order to correct whatever the situation is.”