ASG Senate calls for reduced speed limit, closing Sheridan Road following student death


Sophie Mann/Daily Senior Staffer

Associated Student Government President Christina Cilento speaks during Senate on Wednesday. ASG Senate unanimously passed a resolution to improve transportation safety on Sheridan Road.

Fathma Rahman, Development and Recruitment Editor

Associated Student Government Senate unanimously passed a resolution to improve transportation safety on Sheridan Road, including the possibility of closing the road to thru traffic, in light of the recent death of freshman Chuyuan Qiu, who was killed in a biking accident on Sheridan.

“We coordinated this resolution in conjunction with Faculty Senate because we recognized, especially given recent events, that transportation safety was a big topic on campus,” ASG President Christina Cilento told The Daily. “We wanted to be able to make sure that we were actually improving the way students get around campus — not just mourning Chu’s loss, but actually doing something about it.”

The resolution, which Faculty Senate passed last week, proposed the creation of a task force to examine ways to better the “safety and experience of those traveling across campus.” It also recommends the task force consider reducing the speed limit on Sheridan to 25 mph between Davis and Central streets and providing students with free helmets in addition to the bike lights and reflective gear already distributed annually on campus.

An amendment Senate approved with the resolution recommended the task force consider a long-term possibility of closing down a part of Sheridan Road passing through the University to “all or most vehicle traffic” in order for the road to be reclaimed as a “public space.”

“The problem with Sheridan is it’s people (driving) who have no interest in the University, are not going to anywhere at the University, have no involvement with the University and may not live in Evanston or Chicago,” SESP sophomore Ben Powell said. “(They) are coming from northern suburbs to Chicago or back again at the end of the day and are causing massive traffic jams that pose a danger to students.”

An amendment to the amendment was proposed to alter the language to specifically block traffic of “non-university affiliated vehicles” on Sheridan, but it was voted down.

Cilento said ASG received $10,000 in funding from the Office of the President to get free bike helmets and plans to distribute them next week, which she hopes will become an annual program. The city will also be giving out and installing bike lights Thursday at The Arch and 1823 Church St.

Emergency legislation was also presented at the meeting to revise the composition of the A-status finances committee. The changes include increasing the number of members from 12 to 14, removing the requirement that six senators must serve on the committee and changing the procedure for voting to recognize decisions.

Previously, recognition decisions had to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Joint Committee, which comprises both the A-Status and B-Status committees. The new procedure requires a two-third majority of present A-Status and B-Status Finances committee members separately, according to the resolution.

“It allows more people from different parts of campus to participate, even if they’re not a senator, in the allocation process,” said Weinberg senior Eric Oringer, vice president for A-status finances.

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