Now I am not quite sure who are the rudest people on campus. Drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians take first prize in that dubious category. It really doesn’t matter, although it would be nice if all three would improve their acts. Fortunately, it is fairly simple.
Take drivers, for instance. Late one night a couple of weeks ago, I was driving home along 10th Street. I was immediately behind somebody on a moped — I think. The only clue I initially had that somebody was ahead of me was a very small red taillight. This person (I know not the gender) was wearing a black jacket on a dark night. The combination hardly eased my ability to see this person, although I noted when he or she passed under a light that no helmet was visible. Stupid on two counts, I guess.
Next on the stupidity list are the bicyclists who hurl their way across campus at high rates of speed on paths both narrow and marked as “Walkway Only.” Take, for instance, the Arboretum. I trek across the Arboretum several times a week dodging the bicyclists who have decided to ignore the walkway-only signs. It’s hard to get a read on their minds, but I get the impression that they’re cursing me for blocking the sidewalk as they detour on to the grass.
As a final entry in the extremely inconsiderate category, pedestrians crossing the street at 10th and Fee Lane take the cake. I cannot count the number of times that I have been waiting to make a left turn from southbound Fee onto eastbound 10th when the following occurs: The light turns green and I edge my way out into the intersection, only to be stopped by hordes of people crossing the street when the red hand is clearly telling those on foot to stay put.
I understand that people are eager to cross the street on their way to class, but by crossing when they choose to cross, all they manage to do is force cars on Fee to sit and idle for yet another light cycle. For all the people on foot at 10th and Fee Lane, do note that drivers are not completely innocent at that intersection. As a pedestrian, I have been annoyed by those in cars that heed not the big black and white signs right in front of them that clearly states, “No turn on red.”
Finally, I want to make one last case for people stuck behind a bus that is stopped to drop off or pick up people: Do not pass the bus unless it is pulled completely off the road. When you do pass a stopped bus, please make sure that at least 90 percent o f your car is to the right of the yellow line. When driving the opposite direction, it has unnerved me to see people passing the bus when there clearly is little space available.
But as a frequent passenger on the bus, I suppose I would prefer you pass the bus on really narrow two-lane stretches of road when traffic is heading the other direction — the resulting accident might be interesting to watch. The increase in your insurance rates and resulting fatalities will be on your head.
Folks, whether you’re driving, riding or walking, there is one really simple way to make everybody’s life easier: Pay attention out there. Signs are there with a purpose. If the sign says, “No turn on red,” it really does mean just that. If the sign says, “Walkway Only,” it really does mean that bicyclists have to find an alternative route. Don’t say you weren’t warned.