The fence must go

By Adam Lederer
BI Columnist

Business College Dean Bruce Forster decided to make everybody’s life more difficult this summer.

He had “The Fence” installed at 15th and Ivinson.

Purportedly the fence was installed because of the threat posed to human life by cars and pedestrians mixing in the business parking lot.

I’m not kidding.

One has to wonder how he feels about people crossing the street or parking at Wal-Mart as students get back to town.

In an issue of the Summer BI, Forster cited different situations that had recently occurred, including:

Children too small to be seen in rearview mirrors crossing through the parking lot;

Students blocking moving cars; and

Bicycles suddenly “swooping” behind cars backing up.

Perhaps Jaque Buchanan, a Biz College executive staff assistant had the scariest incident — nearly backing into somebody in a wheelchair.

But are these incidents justification for blocking students and other pedestrians from crossing through the parking lot?


These incidents happen in every parking lot and around Prexy’s Pasture.

How many times have you seen somebody, or even you, back up without looking?

It certainly happens to me most times that I go for a walk.

The problem here is not the pedestrians, but the idiot drivers who do not look.

Forster killed the messenger instead of fixing the problem.

He pleads that the shortcut saved students only 20 to 30 feet a trip.

He left out that it saves each pedestrian, student or otherwise, 20 to 30 feet a trip.

When you consider the 2,200 students who are expected to live in the dorms this fall the numbers become staggering.

The vast majority of the students cross the intersection and through the Biz lot at least twice a day — for good measure 2,000.

That’s 4,000 trips a day, at about 25 feet a trip, or 110,875 feet total. That’s 36,958 yards, or, for those of us imagination challenged, 21 miles.

Assuming you can walk four miles-an-hour and maintain that pace, that’s five and a quarter hours of time Forster is causing students to waste.

Remember that most people who live in the dorms make multiple trips across the parking lot everyday, so the numbers are actually a lot higher.

But the parking lot in question only has 85 parking spaces.

If we’re lucky, each one of the 85 cars that parks in the lot daily carries two people for a total of 190 people who get to park a few feet closer to their ultimate destination.

Isn’t funny that Biz Dean Forster is one of those lucky few?

Forster needs to remember that the students who make up the majority of the pedestrians crossing the parking lot are also the people who drive this university.

If either pedestrians or cars must be eliminated, I think the cars should go. However, I think there’s plenty of room for both.

“The Fence” should go.

Adam Lederer is a graduate student in political science minoring in environment and natural resources. He earned his bachelor’s from UW in 1996.


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