As ASU welcomes students back from their winter break, I hear rumblings of nervousness over a whole bunch of new commuters and first time light rail riders. From what I understand, Metro and ASU have both prepared information for students to quickly educate them on light rail safety and awareness. I had dinner tonight with a friend of mine that works for ASU and she was a bit concerned about the traffic at the Rural / University station. This is an area that can get very congested and might be a little confusing for people in the beginning. Said Michelle, "They should have officers in that street for a while."
In addition to safety, other concerns are parking. In a recent Tempe Transportation Committee meeting, there was a discussion of how full the light rail park and ride lots could suddenly be as thousands of students return to school. I'm not sure if it will happen overnight but I do believe the lots will be a huge draw for students as the rise in parking fees don't appear to be going down in the future. (This could bring up some interesting new challenges as well.)
There are many obvious benefits to students commuting between the Downtown Phoenix and the Tempe campus. Will there be an ongoing need to educate students and the public on safety and awareness campaigns? Probably… Are ASU students stupid drivers? I don't think so.
I do know one thing for sure. ASU students, "Your Life Is On The Line!