Use pedestrian crosswalks and parking lots appropriately or face bodily injury

Jonathan Willett

Jonathan WillettColumnist

I thought we were better than this, I really did. I gave us enough credit as a species to assume that by the age of 18, we could make appropriate use of crosswalks and parking lots. I want to address each of these areas separately, but first I want to remind everyone to always look both ways when driving or walking, because next time I am not stopping.

First of all, regarding our often obscured crosswalks all over campus, but mostly near the UPD/Wecota/Dairy-Micro area of Medary. Notice to all pedestrians: when you walk behind the snow piled up beside the crosswalks that happens to be taller than you are, drivers can’t see you. I know this seems like a crazy concept, but we have to be able to see you to avoid you or know when to stop.

I have had to slam on brakes half a dozen times in the last week just to avoid bodily injury to some careless pedestrian. Just because walkers have the right of way does not mean that they can take the chance of serious bodily injury by ignoring their surroundings. Some of our fellow students protect their iPhones better than they protect themselves from two ton machines that can break them in half. And I swear to all that is holy, the next person I see walking into the road without looking while surfing on an iPad, I’m accelerating.

I know a lot of people have tried to come up with ways for our university to cut the 10 percent from the budget that the governor has asked for, and I believe I have a starting point that will save some academic funds from the axe. Get rid of UPD parking lot officers. I have no idea how much they make, but their ineffectiveness and random enforcement ensure that they could be a fiduciary starting point that no one would miss. They seem to ticket when they want, who they want, and we as students have little recourse for appeal. While little order is enforced on snow blanketed crammed lots, attention is seemingly lavished upon easily accessible, mostly deserted lots that are simpler to patrol.

Speaking of parking lots, I need to express something to a few of our fellow drivers on campus. Just because the snow is covering the parking lot does not mean that it becomes a one-lane road. I am so sick of people barreling through a parking lot because they’re one minute late to a class that won’t even notice they’re not there. I’m not saying you have to creep silently as church mice, but at least look when turning into a new row, don’t treat the entrance to parking lots like a freeway off-ramp, and stay on your side on the road/lane. I’ve seen a dozen near fender benders this week alone, and one day soon, if I see someone driving stupidly toward me, I am not stopping. After all, I have great insurance.

Jonathan is a graduate student studying English. Reach him at [email protected]