Thousands of students have returned to school, and the community is back to the usual hustle and bustle that makes Rolla the unique, diverse and vibrant town that it is.
I urge everyone to please take notice not only of all the additional pedestrian traffic that comes with the start of school, but also the many school zones and crosswalks located along Pine Street (from Sixth through 18th streets), Bishop Avenue (U.S. Highway 63), 10th Street, Soest Road, Salem Avenue, Forum Drive, Pine Tree Road, Lanning Lane, Kingshighway and 18th Street.
There is quite a bit of pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic along these busy corridors, including the downtown business district, especially during the morning, lunchtime and afternoon hours when students are returning home or to their dorms and apartment complexes.
Missouri revised statutes state that “When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”
Rolla’s municipal ordinances (Chapter 27, Section 27-89, Motor Vehicles and Traffic), also state that motorists shall proceed cautiously, yielding the right of way to any pedestrian within any crosswalk.
Bicycle paths along the city’s 13-mile-long pedestrian/bike path network also have pedestrian crosswalks.
Fortunately, the Rolla Police Department and Missouri S&T Police Department do a very good job overseeing motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic and enforce the traffic laws, including improper parking, when necessary, but the assistance of the motoring public is an important piece of this puzzle that includes the safety and welfare of thousands of elementary, high school and college students.
With more than 7,000 students enrolled at Missouri S&T, 4,000 enrolled at the eight Rolla Public Schools and thousands more enrolled at the other area colleges such as Columbia, Drury, Webster, Metro Business College, ECC and others, safety is a high priority throughout the school year.
Public safety, and especially pedestrian safety, is a topic I think we all agree is at the heart of a healthy, prosperous and peaceful community
In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting the fifth annual Bulldog Pride Night on Friday, Sept. 6, prior to the first home football game.
Of course this year’s event will be especially memorable with the dedication of the beautiful synthetic turf field!
This community supported event will start at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot next to Lions Memorial Stadium and RHS and will continue until game time with our own Rolla Bulldogs verses the Kickapoo Chiefs of Springfield.
Page 2 of 2 - There will be free hot dogs, soda and stadium cups. The RHS band, cheerleaders and football players will all make an appearance so plan to join the community to support our Bulldogs and show your pride!
The football game starts at 7 p.m., and admission is $4 at the gate.