I am sure most of us have been either for or against the walk-only zones on campus at different times, depending on which mode of transportation we chose.
Although the purpose of having a bike or longboard is the ability to get to class in a more efficient manner than walking, it’s not always convenient for the thousands of other students.
Upperclassman students remember what walking around campus was like before enforced walk-only zones, and from what I hear, campus travel was disastrous. There were absolutely no traffic control systems, and as the number of students attending ASU increased every year but the walkway sizes did not, ASU was left with the current predicament of overcrowding between class times.
ASU students have all experienced almost being run over by a bike or skateboard plenty of times. It can be quite frightening for both the rider and walker. It’s also exhausting constantly searching around before every step to make sure no bicyclists or boarders are in the pathway.
At the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year, ASU enforced specific walk-only zones in the most highly trafficked areas of campus during the busiest times of days.
This was created with the intent to reduce bicycle crashes and ensure the safety of both walkers and riders on campus. The minor inconvenience of having to walk a bike or skateboard for a few minutes seems worth the increased safety on campus.
And while this policy was created with the best intent, it’s no surprise that students didn’t abide by rules written on signs posted in the walk-only zones.
Citizens of a state or town do not abide by the laws simply because they are told to do it. Law enforcement is necessary for an effective and safe community to be ensured.
Without punishment or incentive, people don’t do much of anything. We are programmed to work for incentives and oblige by punishment. These walk-only zones were not having much success when the rules were simply a suggestion.
Then ASU hired students to regularly patrol the walk-only zones and enforce students to get off their bikes and skateboards. This still had very little success. A student in an ASU polo without authority isn’t exactly intimidating.
April 1 was when the newest enforcement of the walk-only zones went into effect. This time there are real consequences that can have an effect on students.
Beginning with a warning, students at first offense will only receive a written warning from the walk-only zone patrols. Second violation includes a bicycle safety class with the police department with a charge of $15. If it escalates even beyond the class and fine, students will be referred to the dean.
A lot of this doesn’t sound fair to the students. Punishment for failing to obey walk-only zones seems to be a small reminder of high school rules and wrist swatting. After senior year, more accurately after freshman dorm life, students are used to being treated like adults, with only natural consequences affecting their actions. Sometimes though, particular enforcement is the only way to achieve success, because people won’t follow along willingly without it.
Reach the columnist at Aubrey.McCleve@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @theartsss
Editor’s note: The opinion presented in this column is the author’s and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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