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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Avoid being a cause of road rage on campus

    The approach of fall semester brings a sense of worry rising through my gullet.

    It’s not just the end to summer fun and the stress of classes and grades, it’s also the prospect of traversing the campus and dealing with cars, bikes and pedestrians.

    Travelling around the UA is like being in a neverending battle royale between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. At every turn, you must be alert for others who aren’t aware of you or seem not to care.

    While more police and crosswalks would seem likely to improve travelling around campus, the presence of both currently does little to stem the tide of people who meander through campus causing near-collisions and frustration. Therefore, the real way to deal with the issue is to look upon ourselves and stop being self-absorbed jerks. That said, I have a couple of guidelines to help keep everyone happy and out from under the wheels of a pickup.

    As a pedestrian, you have the right of way. Now cross! Right away! And by using the crosswalk and paying attention to those around you!

    Park Avenue is lined with zombie-like bodies shuffling by, unaware of anything around them. This is evidenced by the ceaseless flow of people crossing the street in front of your car. You stop and bang your head against your wheel, waiting for a gap large enough to pass through. Then, a person halts, appearing to let you go, only instead to decide to go, joining another glut of students as you enter the intersection.

    Further, even when you feel fortune smile upon you and you are able to cross an intersection, you must then stop multiple times for sporadic jaywalkers that are ignorant to the crosswalks placed every 100 feet and determined to travel in a straight line.

    To campus pedestrians: Pay some attention to those around you, and use crosswalks. It will prevent you from possibly getting a ticket or from transforming from art major to pretty smear on the pavement.

    Cyclists, you aren’t f**ing Transformers!*

    Unlike cars, bicycles aren’t protected by a few tons of metal, plastic, glass and sweet, supple pleather. As anyone that has collided with a speeding bike while walking across campus will tell you, they aren’t pedestrians either.

    However, it seems that many cyclists act like cars when they demand room on the road from bigger, faster, actual cars. Then, they act like pedestrians when they barrel through a stop sign into a crosswalk.

    The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recognizes that a bike is neither a car nor a person, so it gives specific laws in regards to their use. ARS 28-644 states that cyclists must stop for stop signs and signals, ARS 28-792 says riders must stop for crosswalks and ARS 28-704 requires that riders must pull off to let faster vehicles pass.

    Many cyclists don’t know about these laws, but they will become more familiar when they are mentioned in a ticket or lawsuit.

    Drivers, control your metal death machines!

    I love cars, car culture and driving, but drivers are often ignorant jerks who don’t seem to realize the dangers they pose.

    I frequently want to pound my wheel in frustration due to cyclists and people around me, who seem too hurried or distracted to notice my two tons of steel that can hurt and or kill them. The power of my car makes me realize it’s my imperative to take into account the potential to cause harm.

    Last semester, I came within a foot of being hit after leaving the library one night. I was tired, it was late and I’m sure the driver was tired, too, because the car didn’t stop at the signal and barrelled through as I crossed.

    It’s too easy for us to blame each other. Behind the wheel, you hate clueless people walking in front of you, on a bike, you despise cars that cut in front of you and as a pedestrian, you are fearful of being hit by the bike ignoring the crosswalk.

    Instead, let’s all try to increase our awareness of each other so that travelling across the UA feels tolerable and less like a war among rival clans.

    – Eric Klump is a senior studying journalism. Follow him @ericklump

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