EDITORIAL: Two years later, Crawford Road is still as unsafe as it was the night Ryan Tsatsos was killed


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Memorial items for Ryan Tsatsos lie on a table during a press conference on Nov. 1 at the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post.

Two Halloweens have come and gone.

In the past two years, hundreds of students have walked, biked or ran on Crawford Road. During the day, students are safe knowing drivers can see them, but at night it’s a different story.

No lights, no sidewalks and a small shoulder sets the road for another accident.

Thankfully, we haven’t had to endure another tragedy like the one that befell Macomb freshman Ryan Tsatsos.

Central Michigan University, the city of Mount Pleasant and Union Township all control property along the road where Tsatsos was killed after being struck by a vehicle on Nov. 1, 2015. Tatsos and a group of friends were walking back to their residence halls during the night between Halloween and the start of November.

All of them but Tsatsos made it. To this day, the driver has not been found.

If you have any information that can help bring the Tsatsos family closure on their son’s death, report any tips to Crime Stoppers at 1-(800)-422-5245.

We cannot have another incident like his.

Today, it’s easy to look back and say, “if only they had taken another route.”

Sure, but hindsight is 20/20.

Will we be saying this again when we’re struck by another tragedy?

We cannot risk student safety on a road so frequented by many members of our community.

Union Township, Mount Pleasant and CMU must work together to improve Crawford Road’s safety.

After the accident, there were three plans to improve Crawford Road, one involved lights and a sidewalk, another involved installing only sidewalks and the last was to pave a different route.

When the city, township and university started to discuss these plans, there was the issue of cost. Some estimates ran upwards of $840,000, but what monetary value can you put on a life?

We aren’t unrealistic. We know putting a sidewalk along the road is cost prohibitive, but lights are still an option.

Put lights along Crawford Road. Don’t tell us there are alternative paths that no student knows about, or another route has lights — the vast majority of students use Crawford Road.

Help our community avoid another tragedy.

Ask the students living in the Deerfield and Lexington apartments. They’ll probably tell you it’s one of the most unsafe areas in Mount Pleasant at night.

With no way to see where you are going, it’s terrifying — like driving in the abyss.

Ask the people regularly driving the road at night — it’s impossible to see pedestrians until you are right next to them.

We need those lights. Words from CMU and the city are not enough to keep students safe.

Action is.

That action is putting street lights along the road.

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