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Congress votes to revise bridge bill

Feb. 9, 2001

Leaders want Baylor to do a safety study

By KARA WILEY

Staff writer

Student Congress voted Thursday to recommend the closure of the Eighth Street bridge, but only after Baylor does a review to find out the uses of the bridge and determine any safety issues.

Student Congress changed the bill last week after deciding it would be better to have a review completed by Baylor than to go directly to the Texas Department of Transportation and ask that it be closed.

'If Baylor does a review, it will weigh more heavily than if Student Congress was just asking for it to be done,' said Josh Verbout, a Katy sophomore.

Matt Flanigan, student body internal vice president, said the bill is a good idea but student government has decided to approach it differently.

'We want to raise awareness of safety issues around the bridge,' Flanigan said.

The bill now requests that Baylor do a full review of the safety concerns associated with the bridge, as well as a study of who uses it and when they use it.

'If there are advantages to having the bridge open, for both Baylor and the community, then we need to take those into account,' said Robert Schickler, a Virginia senior. 'If, however, the bridge simply contributes to an increase in criminal activity, then we need to make the safety of students a priority and close the bridge.'

Flanigan said they want evidence that it is a real safety concern before they decide to ask the Department of Transportation to close it.

'Our job is to raise the concern; now we'll see what Baylor does with it,' Flanigan said.

The bill was the first of many that will be debated in conjunction with Safety 2001, a safety initiative proposed by student government.