Being the pedestrian you want to see on the streets

What compelled you to cross the street with traffic coming?

What possessed you to run in front of the bus to get the driver’s attention?

What went through your mind when you never decided to look up from your phone as you crossed the street?

Why would you do that?

These are just some of the questions that come to my mind on a daily basis watching some of my peers making their way around campus.

Everyday at the same time, both pedestrian and vehicular traffic increases around campus when people are trying to get to their destinations to take care of their responsibilities. This is not enjoyable for anyone when drivers hate walkers, walkers hate drivers and everyone hates bikers.

My point is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things we can all do to make the experience of getting around campus less aggravating, and in fact more enjoyable for everyone.

Now, neither do I have a car to drive, nor am I from a city like Atlanta. The city life is certainly not something I’m used to, so I may be a little biased in my observations. Nevertheless, I’m trying to keep my views as objective as possible.

I’m looking at the walkers first with this one.

Just because we have the right of way, it’ll never put us at the center of the universe. Nobody around us thinks so, and they will not wait for us to get out of the way.

It’s just like what we have learned since elementary school: Please just go ahead and look both ways when you cross the street, because you don’t always have to be first in order to hold up traffic.

I definitely don’t agree with tickets for jaywalking, but you can’t go walk out in traffic and not expect any kind of consequence.

I’m looking at the drivers with this next one.

Despite what you might think, your horn is not making anyone go any faster when traffic is already moving. Tailgating your fellow drivers will not speed them up, and cutting them off once you do get past is never the right thing to do.

Traffic is moving at the rate it will move. Accept that and move on.

I’m looking at the bikers with this one.

When you choose to be neither a walker nor a driver, you give up the right to act like either. You’re not as slow as a walker nor as fast as a car. Stay in your lane.

I’m looking at everybody with this one, but when there’s construction going on with vehicles much larger than you or your own vehicle, you have to just get out of the way. When a bus is trying to keep on moving along their route, you have to just let them keep moving. We can’t control the road or who will be in it at the same time we are.

Oh—and please go ahead and put the phone down. It can always wait.

I realize that time is precious, but you’re missing out on everything around you when you rush from place to place. I’m always an advocate of slowing down parts of your day to just enjoy it. There are definitely way too many people that don’t get that chance. If you’re late, then you’re late. Just move on with your day.

Obviously, nobody’s perfect, but sometimes, common sense just has to tell you that some actions would be better to act on in certain situations. Traffic is only made worse everyday by some of the decisions made when simply crossing the street.

Yes, ten minutes between classes will always make it tough for someone to make it from one side of campus to the other on time, but it’s always better to be a little late than to be involved in any kind of accident.

I think it’s all about being a little more cautious and conscientious of your surroundings every day of the week.

This is coming from no authority on anything. I’m just a simple guy walking around campus humming “War….Why can’t we be friends?”