Getting across campus may be more convenient with electric vehicles, but is it worth the increase in accidents?
Purdue’s walkways are getting more crowded with the recent increase of electric vehicles like Spin scooters and electric skateboards on campus.
The increase of accidents has not gone unnoticed as Purdue President Mitch Daniels recently announced creating a task force to address safety concerns caused by electric vehicles on campus.
The Giant Leaps Master Plan, replacing the University’s plan from 2009, lists enhancing “open space connectivity and campus circulation” as a priority.
“The vision of the master plan is to use open space and streetscapes to tie different parts of campus together, improving first impressions of campus, reducing the perceived distance between campus areas, and increasing the overall quality of outdoor space,” said Michael Gulich, the director of campus master planning and sustainability, via email.
The master plan includes changes to the Memorial Mall Drive, the Agricultural Mall and implementing a walkway and bike lane down Third Street.
Gulich said the plan will continue to add new bike facilities for the growing population of bicyclists on campus. He said the Parking, Mobility and Transit Master Plan currently in progress will evaluate mobility options.
From Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018, there were 11 motor vehicle-related accidents reported to the Purdue University Police Department. Through Aug. 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019, 14 crashes were reported, according to PUPD Chief John Cox.
But from Aug. 1 to Nov. 20 this year, there have already been 16 crashes over the course of these five months.
Because of the increase of these accidents, the task force will examine existing regulations regarding electric vehicles, according to a press release. The examination may include adding speed limits, restrictions on hours of operations, helmet requirements and the total number of electric vehicles allowed on campus.