If you have lived in the Greater Lafayette Area for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly almost hit at least one Purdue student walking across the road at some point. I have always found it odd that the college, center for learning and beacon of knowledge in this dark time of stupidity, is the location of more pedestrian accidents than anywhere else in the GLC. Students getting hit is such a problem that Purdue has an official “don’t get hit” webpage complete with some rather genius recommendations for not getting hit.
Here are some of my favorites:
“Remove your iPod ear buds and maintain visual contact with vehicle traffic around you…”
“Be extra cautious when it is raining and when it is dark if you are wearing dark-colored clothing…”
“Do not engage in horseplay near any vehicle traffic…”
These from the same people who will be securing your children’s future as contributing members of society… oh and astronauts. Don’t worry, My Man Mitch is going to finish what Jischke started and finally make Purdue an Ivy League school. I’m pretty sure to be Ivy League you just have to require a pound of flesh with each tuition payment and not have a problem covering up the chauvinistic behaviors of your directors and sports teams (and we know how Mitch loves his flesh).
Here is the thing, yes pedestrians are often to blame for getting themselves hit sometimes. However, it is the people in the cars who don’t understand the concept of yielding that often cause more problems. I think it is really great that Purdue sprung for those really nice new cross walks that come with the “sharks-teeth” looking “yield bars” (yes, those triangles before the cross walk mean you are supposed to yield at that location), I really do. The thing is, people don’t have a clue what to do when they get to them!
I frequently commute to work by bike, and I can’t tell you how many times I have almost planted myself on someone’s trunk when they stop at one of these cross walks for some guy standing on the sidewalk. Yield to pedestrians “IN THE CROSS WALK”. This doesn’t mean that if there is a line of 50 people standing on the curb, you stop traffic to let them go. That isn’t yielding, that is stopping. You yield when some person has stepped off the curb and is walking across the road…yielding to pedestrians is essentially a nice way of saying “don’t hit people in the road”. Don’t worry, the new lines don’t mean anything else…just don’t hit people.
“But Aaron, I am just being friendly! I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere.” Thank you, mom, but that isn’t an excuse for stopping traffic to let that kid walk his bike across the street. Just like the pedestrians need to be mindful of the cars on the roads, drivers do too. Stopping at a yield sign is not something that the person behind you is always anticipating, especially if that person is me and I am familiar with the actual rule which says that you indeed should NOT have stopped just now.
“Quit riding your bike on the road, you are the one being dangerous!” Don’t get me started on this one… you may not know this, but city ordinances state that bikes are NOT supposed to be ridden on any sidewalks. Bicycles are supposed to abide by all the rules of a car and car’s should treat bicycles in the road like another car. That means no passing on double yellow, no throwing things at me, no hitting bikes, etc. Yes, it also means that I run a lot of red lights and should get lots of tickets on my way to work, but…well…start your own blog and talk about it if you want.
It’s not that complicated of a procedure, folks. Students, faculty, employees, campus stalkers, don’t walk out in front of cars! Cars, don’t hit people in the road and don’t slam on your brakes in the middle of a busy street! Also, cyclists are awesome, so quit harassing them and trying to get as close as you possibly can without hitting them. If you are interested in the official rules involving pedestrians follow this link. http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title9/ar21/ch17.html