I’m no stranger to bumps and bruises. I trip and fall a lot. I run into all sorts of things. I’ve run into doors because I’ve forgotten to open them. I’ve even tripped and fallen on the five steps leading to Hepner Hall, for which I’ve been relentlessly mocked, I might add. In short, I am a very clumsy person.
So, as someone in a love-hate relationship with the floor (it catches and bruises me at the same time), I can say with certainty being run over would be much, much more frightening than falling down a set of stairs. I think most people would agree with me on this one. Though most of those people are probably thinking about cars.
I’m talking about bikes and skateboards.
I have no problem with students who ride bikes and skateboards around campus. I’m actually a little bit jealous, because a) you probably look cooler than me riding around, and b) you probably aren’t late for class as often as I am. But you terrify me.
I have had nightmares, daydreams (daymares?) and conscious streams of thought in which I have been pummeled to death on Campanile Walkway. I just imagine the last memory I have will be the tires that run me over and the sounds of people screaming. I’ll be the dead girl on Campanile. From my very first day on campus, I was sure that was the way I was going to go.
Let’s get this straight — bikers and skateboarders are not the issue. These are just people who want to get to class in a timely fashion, and who are probably receiving a better and more efficient workout between classes than pedestrians. (Please don’t test me on that. I don’t go to the gym often enough to determine which is actually a better workout.) And there are differences among those who bike, skate or roll to class: those just working to move from point A to point B, those just as distracted as the rest of us who can’t be on the lookout for every pedestrian who can’t bother to look before they walk and those whose goal in life is to hit as many pedestrians as they can on that Campanile stretch.
Luckily for me, I usually deal with that last group of people. It may or may not be my imagination, but it certainly seems they can spot a target from a mile away, waiting for it (me) to start crossing the bike lane, then speeding up until they have either hit or completely terrified said target.
I have both seen and been a part of such instances, and I would just like to say, they need to stop. I do not believe we should ban bikes and skateboards, but we should remove these wheeled bullies.
I’m not entirely sure what I’m asking of all of you who wheel yourself to class on the daily. Maybe I’m asking you all to be more careful. Maybe I’m asking you to make a noise or say something if you’re hurtling toward an unaware pedestrian. Maybe I’m just asking you not to laugh when a girl you almost run over screams in terror and runs the other way.
Because, chances are, she probably had a nightmare that ended the same way.
—Bree Lutjens is a public relations freshman.