Traveling on campus is organized chaos. As vehicles park on the edge of campus, the pedestrians pour out. Bikers, long-boarders and golf carts all participate in the sidewalk ballet. Bikers seem to merge effortlessly with the crowd, and when anything with wheels passes by, students step aside; or so it should be.
As a biker, I can’t count the numerous times I’ve had to squeal to a halt. As a UCF employee, the biggest hazards to driving on campus are students, wearing headphones, who step in front of vehicles. I myself have knocked a few guys off their long-boards while walking to class. Perhaps the most dangerous factor for pedestrians and bikers alike is the vehicle traffic on Gemini Blvd. Crosswalks are dangerously deemed hassles when you’re late for class. In many cases a yield is seen as a suggestion until a pedestrian is 6 inches away. When turning or stopping at a light, drivers often perch their vehicles on top of crosswalks instead of staying behind the white line. This causes another issue for bikers who have to safely navigate around the driver.
Solutions to these issues can be simple to identify, but may be difficult to put in place. UCF loves seeing their student numbers increase. It means more money, but it also means more traffic. Students should encourage campus planners and policy makers to further plan and construct pedestrian walkways, sidewalks, and roads for more fluid traffic patterns. In addition, UCFPD should appropriate officers to enforce regular traffic rules, including stopping behind the white line, just as much as parking services patrol the parking lots. Finally, during our everyday campus travels, as drivers, bikers, and pedestrians, we should remind ourselves to stay to the right, and avoid distractions while going from place to place.