The Daily Illini

Dear freshmen, beware of the bicycle lane

By Mary Adam, Columist

This past summer I received many pieces of advice from friends, family members and co-workers for beginning college. Some I was happy to hear, but some was unsolicited. I heard everything from go to class, don’t drink jungle juice, don’t die, don’t join the Greek system, do join the Greek system, don’t live in Bromley because the food will give you diarrhea, don’t talk to boys (that one was from my dad) and be cautious of the squirrels.

The one thing I was not warned about — queue the scary music — was the bike lane. The first day of class I nervously grabbed onto my backpack straps and crossed the street. The moment my feet hit the gravel of the bike path I trespassed into the belly of a monster.

As soon as I crossed the line of foreign territory, pure terror shook my whole body. I missed getting mowed down by a bike by nearly a couple inches. I fearfully proceeded with my walk to class. Nearly 50 feet away from the English building, a psycho on a skateboard ran into me.

There is no escape from these guys. That was the exact moment I declared war on the bike lane. I’m not just talking to bicyclists. I’m talking to anyone who rides something that has wheels on it.

Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to people who skateboard, rollerblade and use those weird machines where you sit down and pedal, which is real and I saw one the other day.

I may sound like a monster myself saying this, but I do receive some joy when an enraged biker has to abruptly halt for a pedestrian.

Pedestrians who walk have got to stand their ground. Being on wheels may make one feel invisible, but the wheels don’t own this campus. I’m all for saving the environment and helping to end climate change. I mean, who doesn’t want to help out Leonardo DiCaprio? All I’m asking is these students on wheels be more careful and courteous when riding in the bike lane near the Main Quad.

I’m tired of the anxiety of having to frantically look both ways before crossing the bike lane, and I’ve only been here five weeks. The kind of stress I get from the bike lane can’t be healthy. I don’t think the bike lane should be axed, I’m just here to speak on behalf of the walkers. There are a lot of positives of the bike lane; at least the bikers don’t wear bike shorts. That’s the only positive I can think of, but it’s a huge positive.

Bikers and walkers need to learn to coexist peacefully at the University, and the ball is in the bikers’ court.

Mary is a freshman in CS. 

[email protected] 

2 Comments