Count the cones on the Cougar Walk


By Rebecca Panico

You won’t look attractive strutting your stuff down this catwalk — or rather, Cougar Walk.

Kean University’s main thoroughfare, which stretches from Vaughn-Eames Hall to Harwood Arena, has taken a hit after snow and ice ravaged its pavement this winter. The bad weather was nearly a weekly occurrence, as the campus closed its doors five times from January to March.

As spring slowly inches forward, traces of abrasive salt still linger on the Cougar Walk as a not-so-friendly reminder of this winter’s grueling conditions. Bright orange cones liter the campusmarking loose bricks, large cracks, and uneven

The condition of the pavement is especially troublesome for Kean’s skateboarders and longboarders. Stephanie Marchetti, an education major at Kean, described how she copes as a skater.

“I noticed that the bricks are getting more and more uneven and there are certain areas where the bricks are actually out of place in front of the Starbucks,” said Marchetti, who dorms and uses her board to get around campus frequently. “It’s impossible to even skate over. I’ll have to either ollie or jump over it or literally get off my board and walk.”

To compensate, skaters are starting to use skateboards with larger and softer wheels to roll over cracks. The heavier wheels may make skating around campus easier, but the trade-off is that performing tricks becomes more difficult.

According to Kean’s spokeswoman, Susan Kayne, repairs to the Cougar Walk will be made soon.

“The University is committed to making all the necessary repairs, however, the work cannot be done until the ground has completely thawed,” Kayne explained. “Some repairs will be made over Spring Break while pedestrian traffic is light and others will be made on an on-going basis around campus.”

More snow fell upon the campus the first day of spring, March 2. All the cones that were put in place early March still remain, with some now tipped over and forgotten. So who will fix the Cougar Walk’s unsightly appearance? According to Kayne, the Office of Facilities and Campus Planning will oversee the repairs and an experienced masonry contractor
will head the work.

Minor repairs to the Cougar Walk began on March 26, mostly fixing loose bricks. As of publication of this article, most of the cones still remain.

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