“It will mainly prove of added value during the dark winter months. The lighting switches on whenever someone crosses the street – which helps call drivers’ attention to this fact,” says the spokesperson. The smart lighting in question was previously installed at Coolsingel, meaning it is actually ‘recycled’. “If drivers abide by the usual traffic rules, this should suffice as far as pedestrians’ visibility is concerned.”
The lighting upgrade was made after a serious traffic accident on 8 January. A 27-year-old Erasmus School of Economics PhD student was walking along the Kralingse Zoom crossing when he was hit by a car – with serious injuries as a result. The man was admitted to hospital in a critical state.
Municipal traffic safety study
The 27-year-old PhD student isn’t the only pedestrian to be hit by a passing vehicle near campus over the past year. Last summer, a food delivery rider died following an accident on Burgemeester Oudlaan. On 11 November, a cyclist was injured during a collision near the crossing at Excelsior stadium, and in December another cyclist was hit while crossing the road at Kralingse Zoom.
In response, the university contacted the Municipality to see whether anything could be done about traffic safety in the vicinity of the campus. The municipal authorities ordered a study of the situation, which ultimately resulted in plans to adapt the area around Kralingse Zoom.
The Municipality has also examined whether it could improve the traffic situation along Burgemeester Oudlaan. However, for the time being, the university’s building plans have put a damper on improvements in this area, according to Bokhove’s spokesperson. “We will wait until the renovations have been rounded off. After that, we also plan to make work of the traffic situation there.”
The renovations referred to by the spokesperson are the university’s plans to realise a second ‘multipurpose education centre’ next to the Polak Building – a complex similar in scale to Polak itself. “During construction, the local crossing zone will be used as an access road and for loading and unloading. That’s why we are unable to make any adaptations at this point,” explained an EUR spokesperson.