The Commerce Journal

May 20, 2009

Letters to the editor, May 21, 2009

To the editor:

At Texas A&M; University-Commerce, the safety of our students is a top priority. We cannot expect our students, who come to us from throughout northeast Texas and the world, to entrust us with their academic futures if we cannot also promise them a safe, secure campus environment.

Unfortunately, on May 5, 2009, two A&M-Commerce; students were hit by a car driven by another student in the Culver Street crosswalk outside Whitley Hall. Thankfully, they sustained only minor injuries.

Incidents like this are taken very seriously by the university. For a number of months, university officials have been in regular talks with the Texas Department of Transportation about how to improve the safety of the pedestrian crossings on Culver Street and Hwy. 50.

On May 8, campus officials met with Craig Miser, area engineer for TxDOT, to discuss new plans for improving the crosswalk notification system. This meeting had been planned well in advance of the May 5 accident.

Mr. Miser and the university agreed on a two-part solution. The plan includes a push-button signal that will illuminate a strip of LED flashers in the pavement. In addition, TxDOT agreed to lay down rumble strips on the pavement on both sides of the crosswalk to get drivers' attention. This plan will be brought to the city for approval in the coming weeks.

Once the project receives city approval, the improvements will be installed, starting with the rumble strips next month. The LED flashers and push-button signals should be installed by the fall semester.

In addition, crosswalk education will play a greater role at new student orientation. Thanks to our risk management and safety departments, students will participate in a training program focused on crosswalk safety, emphasizing the need to maintain a heightened awareness of their surroundings as they cross the street.

Our students' safety can be secured only through a long-term commitment to assessment and implementation of new security features as the need arises. This commitment extends beyond our university to the city and state officials whose constant support and cooperation make safety enhancements like these a reality. We at the university are thankful for this partnership and will continue to rely on their efforts as we work together for years to come in an effort to make prudent, timely decisions that impact the safety of our students and community.

Dan R. Jones, President

Texas A&M; University-Commerce

To the editor:

The members of Louise Drake Garden Club of Commerce wish to express our sincere appreciation to the individuals and those business owners that made our spring project “Tablescapes: An Experience for the Senses” a huge success. This event was held May 2 in the fellowship hall of the First Baptist Church in Commerce.

We were honored to have Dr. Ted Hansen of the music faculty at Texas A&M; University-Commerce entertain the guests during the event.

Thank you to those businesses that provided door prizes.

Janet Peek, President

Rheba Icenhower, Project Chair

Louise Drake Garden Club