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Enclosing Walkways

To Focus on Safety and Convenience

By Staff Editorial
On April 24, 2019

Example of a covered walkway. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

This winter was long and harsh but it is finally in the rearview mirror. Students, staff and faculty all appear to be looking forward to the upcoming warm weather.  

Now that we have passed the coldest and snowiest season in quite a while, hindsight also seems to highlight the problematic winter walking conditions between unconnected buildings on the Kirkwood Community College main campus. 

In specific, we are looking at the walkways between Linn Hall and the library, Johnson Hall and Cedar Hall and Jones Hall to Johnson Hall.  

There are paved sidewalks and crosswalks for each however, moving between these buildings out in the elements can be hazardous and even brutal for students and staff alike. 

Because of the record snow and extreme cold, salt was frequently distributed by campus maintenance however, the conditions were favorable for only a brief period of time before the walkways froze over again.  

This meant not only was a large amount of salt being used but it also required quite the commitment from maintenance to keep the walkways clear and safe for foot traffic. 

As a result, there were times the walkways were difficult to pass without slipping and sliding so we are proposing a solution to help with this challenge going forward.  

We propose to enclose the walkways, which will not only protect them from most of the elements but also to connect all buildings to one another on the main side of campus. 

As previously mentioned, walkways and crosswalks already exist, so enclosing them would not be a far-fetched concept. 

The use of a plastic-type of enclosure like we see at the bus stops would provide more than one benefit for anyone who walks on campus. 

By keeping snow off of the walkways to begin with, not only will it be safer for those scurrying between the unconnected and well-used buildings but also be less of a time investment for maintenance workers as well as less cost in salt being used. 

The partitions will also block some of the wind and even rain when the elements choose to bear down on pedestrians, which will provide more comfortable movement when navigating around campus.  

In addition, covered walkways can be made of materials that allow for use for marketing and/or creative expression from various groups, clubs and organizations on campus. 

Again, the thought of a city bus stop comes to mind and even the ones on campus have advertisements in them. We can take it a step further by promoting and supporting campus endeavors as well. 

Many changes have been made and still are to come on campus to improve facilities and keep us a cutting-edge institution. 

When making and following through on these plans, let’s consider this proposal so we can better protect ourselves from whatever the weather throws at us, no matter what time of year and do it in a way that has more than one benefit to all who may step foot on campus. 

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