Campus Conundrums

Are we walking or are we driving?

Graphic by: Sarah Massey | Production Assistant

With winter upon us I would like to discuss an issue very dear to my heart—not getting ran over by vehicles.

This is something I’ve unfortunately witnessed time and time again and if you haven’t, I urge you to watch closely this winter. Take the time to see the pedestrians and the drivers on campus and become aware of the unspoken war between them.

When I first arrived at Ferris in 2014, I was strictly a walker and remember the struggles I went through when it came to (ironically) the most dangerous places to walk on campus—the crosswalks.

Now that it’s 2017, I’ve discovered the joys of driving and not having to get up so early before class. This also means I have encountered my own groups of brave pedestrians.

Just last semester, I witnessed a student at a crosswalk. I slowed for them to cross and noticed a car going speeding over 25 miles per hour towards him. The student paused for a second at the walk, as if he was debating, and then glanced at the car before walking into its path. He wasn’t jogging. He wasn’t running. He was casually walking.

The driver, a male student, noticed the pedestrian and slowed for a second, again as if they were also debating and then decided to keep speeding along. This caused him to almost hit the student in his path.

I remember being extremely nervous about what was about to happen, but thankfully the driver slammed on his brakes before any damage occurred. The driver was clearly upset and waving his hands in the air at the pedestrian who had the nerve to cross at a crosswalk.

Really though, what should they have expected? Pedestrian crosswalks are meant to give the student walking the right-of-way.

Crosswalks are not some place where people congregate so that when a driver drives by they feel better about the fact that they are not stuck walking to class in the snow.

I mean come on, people. Even if you are running late to class, is that a valid enough reason for running down another human being? Probably not.

I propose that we bring back the tradition of stopping for the pedestrian. Not only because it’s the law and we have to, but because the way we are driving and walking right now is dangerous and someone could seriously get hurt.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been driving the speed limit at night and have found myself sliding through stop signs. If that happens to me when I’m driving legally, who’s to say what’s going to happen to those drivers who are speeding or texting and driving?

Yeah, I notice that, too.

Winter is scary enough, with black ice and post-holiday sales, [without people being afraid of other people as well.]

Let’s just be considerate. Pause for five to 10 seconds to let students who are stuck trudging to class in cold, wintery conditions cross.

That being said, walkers, let’s take a second to judge if a car is going to stop for you.

Just because you have the right-of-way does not mean everybody is willing to give it to you. I mean I know we crack jokes about how getting run down by cars will be the key to paying for college—or maybe that’s just me—but sometimes these jokes are taken too far.

In 2017, let’s keep in mind common courtesy, the law, and the fact that we are all speeding to classes we probably don’t want to get to anyway.

So, as this winter may last until March, let’s start January off with safe travels.