A window inside life at Augustana College

On Walkers and Drivers around Augustana

Recently I have noticed a lack of tolerance that walkers have for their peers and drivers, and vice versa. It seems that walkers and drivers both think that they own the roads (and sidewalks for walkers) around here. So these are some of my thoughts on this.

Based on recent observations, I have concluded that some of the students (certainly not all) did not learn a common sense tip before they came to college. This “tip” is based on something that has personally been engraved into myself at a young age because I grew up around busy roads, and lived near a highway that I would have to cross every day to get to school. I would like to share this “tip” with fellow walkers: look both ways before you cross the street.

Now, I know that turning your head around to see if a car is coming while you are running late to your class, as well as stopping your train of thought in the middle of a text message to lift your head up from your phone to see if there is oncoming traffic, is extremely inconvenient. HOWEVER, excuse me for being blunt, get off your phone and pay attention! 

Even when you are just walking around campus, and you are on your phone, don’t forget to look up every once in a while to see if anyone is in your way. I know that I sometimes send text messages when I am walking to class, but there is a difference between sending a couple text messages and being so engrossed in your phone that you are walking around like a zombie. I know that one of the reasons I chose to come here was because of the beautiful campus that reveals itself in new ways in each season of the year. Stop and enjoy the campus for a moment, remind yourself why you personally chose to come to Augustana.

If you are walking with a group, and that group is taking up the whole sidewalk, and a person is walking the opposite way, just dip behind your friends real fast and let that person go by without having to nudge shoulders, or worse, forcing the other person to walk in the muddy grass along the sidewalks. That’s gross – have some common courtesy for your fellow walkers. When you are walking with a group of people don’t assume that those people have looked to see if a car was coming for you – look for yourself.

Also, a message to the drivers: SLOW DOWN! But really, are you in that big of a hurry all the time where you can’t see that there are students all around, who obviously aren’t paying 100% attention because they assume pedestrians are superior? I recognize that these are not just drivers of Augustana, these are also people in the community. I don’t even want to touch upon the issue of drivers on their phones, but I will say that it doesn’t help the situation any when you aren’t paying attention either.

I personally think that one way to solve this problem is if we are just more aware of and respectable to each other.

Walkers – be courteous when you are walking within a large group that is taking up the whole sidewalk. If you are on your phone, don’t be a zombie. Notice how fast the cars are going – obviously if the car is zooming along, you may not want to cut them off by walking out in front of them.

Drivers – when you are on 7th avenue, notice that you are supposed to yield to pedestrians coming from either side. When you are driving on other roads that students typically take to get to class, drive a little slower going around the curve, if you are in that big of a hurry you should probably consider a different route to wherever you are headed.

By doing these simple things – actually paying attention to our surroundings and practicing respect to one another – I think that this could help prevent possible future accidents around campus, create a more tolerable relationship between walkers among other walkers and drivers, and create an overall safer, less hectic environment for the community of walkers and drivers around Augustana.

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