Campus transport sometimes taxing
The four major modes of campus transportation at MSU are biking, busing, walking an driving. As a freshman, their unique pros and cons are instantly noticeable, along with a problem they all have in common.
MSU takes pride in being a pedestrian-friendly campus and encouraging its students, faculty and staff, to leave their cars, mopeds and other motorized transportation at home if possible. The beauty of MSU lies within the nature that can be seen while walking through campus.
However, walking around campus takes a long time getting from Point A to Point B when a bike or car could do the trick in a much shorter amount of time. Others question walking home alone at night and think biking or driving is the safer option.
Bikes also are campus-friendly because there are many bike racks in front of every building and bike lanes on the paved roads that offer bikers a safer, more convenient way to get around. The MSU Bikes Service Center near Bessey Hall offers a range of services for individuals or departments looking to rent, repair, buy or equip a bike.
But bikes are easily stolen and it is a struggle to find a spot on those crowded bike racks to lock them up.
Buses provide students with transportation that fits their schedule and drops them off close to their destination. They also give students access to far destinations unreachable on foot.
However, the buses tend to be packed during the daytime, offering little room to sit and stand. Sometimes there is a very pungent odor in the bus as well, leaving its passengers with a horrible taste in their mouths.
Cars provide the convenience of fast departure and arrival to any destination, air conditioning or heat for comfort and the ability to carry any number of heavy items.
But cars also provide their share of struggles because of limited parking on campus and heavy traffic during business hours. They also are costly when paying for gas, parking and other expenses.
All these pros and cons weigh into our choice of transportation, but lack of traveler awareness of those around them remains the greatest challenge.
These ways of transportation have been in battle for a while. Pedestrians think they can walk into oncoming traffic. Bikers complain about walkers being too slow and walking in the bike lanes. Cars think they trump everyone because they have the most mass.
Walkers should not be in the bike lanes and should make sure they are not walking into oncoming traffic because most pedestrians think the cars will always stop. My argument is that I wouldn’t always count on them to given the fact that drivers could be looking at their phone, fixing the radio, or simply not paying attention as a student walks across the road.
Bikes, buses and cars also should be cautious of pedestrians when they do have the right-of-way. Countless times groups of pedestrians walk across the road when the sign says, “Walk” and a car goes zooming by anyway to make the light.
Many accidents could be prevented and campus would be much safer if students walking, biking and driving automobiles looked out for each other a bit more often. Everyone’s traveling experience would be streamlined if we focused less on the road ahead and more on the road around us.
Meg Dedyne is a State News staff reporter. Reach her at email@example.com.