Getting from place to place on campus can be a hassle if you only have 15 minutes to get to class. As a result, many people on the Tempe campus decide to use bicycles, skateboards or scooters to get around. Once you set foot on campus, though, it’s as if you’ve walked straight into a skate park.
While biking or skateboarding might seem like a great idea to get from Point A to Point B quicker, how does this method of transportation affect the thousands of other people who decide to walk to class?
In order to reduce the amount of collisions on campus, Undergraduate Student Government initiated the “Walk Your Wheels” campaign. Students with bicycles, skateboards, longboards and scooters are encouraged to “walk their wheels” in crowded areas. There are various signs on campus in order to remind students to do so.
USG also said that they will provide incentives to those students who actually do walk their wheels. USG spotters on campus hand out prize cards to those who participate in the program. While “Walk Your Wheels” seems like a great idea to promote campus safety, is it effective? It’s difficult to enforce a rule on an entire population of students. In fact, many students are not even aware of the initiative.
Sabrina Trotter, a criminal justice freshman, believes there should be more campus regulations for those who ride skateboards, bikes, etc.
“I’ve never been hit by anyone on a skateboard or bike, but I’ve seen others almost get hit,” Trotter said. “Sometimes the people on their bikes go way too fast and don’t use bells to let someone know that they are in their way.”
Trotter was unaware of the "Walk Your Wheels" campaign, but feels it could be effective with more promotion. She also believes when the campus becomes congested, it can be dangerous if people are riding their bikes or skateboards.
Valencia Bowie, an urban planning freshman, also believes more regulations should be established for the safety of the pedestrians. Bowie used to ride a bike on campus and would always try to be aware of her surroundings.
“Bike riders and skateboarders should notify someone when they’re behind them so they won’t hit the person who’s walking. I was almost hit by a biker on campus,” Bowie said.
Bowie was also unaware of the "Walk Your Wheels" initiative and as a result feels that it is not that effective.
While USG’s efforts may have been created with the pedestrians’ interests in mind, it seems as though the initiative is not as effective as they would have hoped. It is a bit abrasive to ban skateboards and bikes on campus, though more regulations are indeed necessary. I don’t want to fear for my safety every time I set foot on the Tempe campus.
USG needs to revamp the campaign and make sure more students, especially those that ride bikes and skateboards, are aware that they need to walk their wheels when the campus becomes crowded. Also, those riding bikes and skateboards should pay more attention to their surroundings and respect pedestrians. With a little information and etiquette, maybe everyone can get where they need to go in one piece.
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