Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jaywalking on Campus

By Adam Wainer, Kalle Haines, and Mike Marcuzzo

As most people have learned, the road is a dangerous place. How dangerous? The National Safety Council estimates that more than 38,000 deaths and 4.4 million injuries occurred on US roads in 2015 alone! Why are the roads dangerous? Car accidents happen in many forms. From driving under the influence to texting while driving, these are only some examples of the dangers presented by this form of public transportation. However, it isn’t just the people driving the cars that make the road a dangerous place. With a large focus already placed on trying to reduce the amount of texting and driving our group decided to take action in regards to another dangerous habit people are beginning to engage in while dealing with road safety; dangerous street crossing. It may seem like something laughable but according to, a car traveling at 30 miles per hour has a 50% chance of killing someone, and many students here on the UNL campus need to be a little more cautious when crossing the street.
As we began planning how we wanted to advise the student population of this threat we needed to identify what specifically we considered dangerous street-crossing habits. We the possible constraint of not knowing if people would truly listen to the advice, we had to figure out a way to achieve our goal of decreasing the amount of car accidents on campus and to better protect students from serious injuries.
The initial steps we took towards reducing the dangers we needed to both define what we considered to be dangerous habits while crossing the streets, such as texting and jay-walking. We then identified that we would need to collect data to show the exigence of our campaign and create some means of communicating the change that we want to see to the large audience that we have. We decided that we would make a slide filled with information and utilize the TV’s around campus that have various information playing throughout the day. In hopes of instilling change on this campus, we looked to make a powerful enough slide that it could be cycled through on the TVs beyond this semester because as more people attend the University, the fuller the streets will be.  After talking it over and defining everything that we wanted to accomplish it was necessary to put it into action. 
               Before we went to the public and spoke about the problem, it was required to make sure that it was indeed a local problem on campus and that it was a big enough problem to be addressed. To confirm our beliefs each group member took to a targeted intersection and recorded the number of jaywalkers and how many of those jaywalkers were distracted, more specifically digital media when crossing the street. The intersections were chosen due to their high crossing traffic during times between classes. The intersections were 16th and Vine, 13th and R, and 17th Street by the Knoll Suites. Each of these intersections were observed for a half an hour starting at 12:15 and ending at 12:45 so the people leaving class at 12:20 and going to class at 12:30 will be seen crossing the street. After this observation we all found that it was indeed a problem on campus and that it needed to be addressed to increase the safety of fellow students and faculty.

 Moving forward a type of media was needed to carry our message, our goal was to reach the most amount of students that would stick for a little while. This is why the digital sign was chosen to talk about jaywalking, the slide is displayed throughout all of the dorms, the East Campus Union and Grill, and all of the dining halls. The slide has been up on the digital signs for some time so then we went back to each one of our intersections to see if it made a significant difference. The results from this were not as good as we were anticipating, but nonetheless there was a slight impact. There were less jaywalkers, but it is difficult to tell if it was because of our intervention or not.
Overall we worked well as a team.  We communicated often with each other and met several times in order to finish our project by the deadline.   We set out to help fix the problem of distracted jaywalkers by creating a sign to be shown on TVs all around city and East campus.  It will take time to see if our message was received well, but we accomplished our goal of creating something good enough to be shown on the campus TVs.
There are things we did well and there are also some instances where we could improve.  One thing we did well was find time to communicate with each other.  We set up a Facebook instant-message group to set up meeting times throw around ideas and topics to discuss in meeting.  We also set up a Google Doc to collaborate on the project proposal and this final project portfolio.
Something I would’ve done differently would be to follow the project proposal timeline more closely.  It took us longer than expected to figure out our approach and to start conducting research.  We also ran into a creative block trying to come up with a good idea for our infographic, which set us back a week.  If we would’ve more closely followed our schedule, we would’ve finished our project about two weeks before we did.  
Another thing we could have done differently was schedule more meetings.  We met soon after the project was assigned but then we did not meet for about two weeks after that.  While we still stayed in contact over Facebook Messenger, it would have been nice to meet face-to-face to discuss potential ideas and to get a head start on our graphic.  This did not, however, keep us from working together and completing our project before the deadline.  We managed to meet once a week after those initial two weeks and this allowed us to come up with a graphic and submit it.  This was important because it takes a few days for a submission to be approved or denied.  If a group member was not able to attend a meeting, we would fill him in via Facebook Messenger and our Google Doc.  
If we had to do this project again I would want to change how we managed our time.  We did what we set out to do but we did not follow a strict schedule, causing us to stress when the deadline started looming.  Setting an initial schedule and following it would have taken away some stress that we had and would have made it so our work was split up evenly over two months instead of crammed into the last month.  

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