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Crosses On Pedestrian Bridge Raising Concerns On Villanova's Campus

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)--Each and every day, hundreds if not thousands of Villanova students cross Lancaster Ave.  near St. Thomas Church on their Radnor campus.

And every day you can catch students crossing against the light, despite traffic barreling toward them.

"Definitely kids are crossing over when they shouldn't be and it's definitely a problem," said one student.

Now, as part of a $285 million expansion project, Radnor Township has approved a pedestrian walkway.

"The bridge was a way to make sure the students were safe and keep them off the road," says Commissioner Luke Clark.

Clark says it's what will be perched atop the bridge that has some living in Radnor concerned.

"The controversy were the crosses that Villanova is now proposing to put on the bridge," says Clark.

"They're not facing the pedestrians. They're facing the traffic, so it's the driving public that's going to be getting this message," said Rick Leonardi, who opposes the design.

The bridge is on Villanova property, but will be paid for with both university and state money.

The design includes four crosses and neighbor Rich Leonardi believes it should be changed, calling it unconstitutional because of the separation of church and state.

His solution?

"Turn them so they face the pedestrians," Leonardi says.

Students though don't think it's a big deal.

"I think it's university property, so I think they should be able to do whatever they want," said freshman, Chris Montie.

Nicole Baker says, "I can understand if people find an issue about it, but I really don't see people going to war about it."

And with unanimous approval Monday night, it appears that war is over.

"The design looks great. The crosses are going to go up there. Is it right or wrong? I don't know. But at the end of the day it is on their property. They are a religious institution and the law for the most part is in their favor," said Clark.

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