Editorial | Look both ways before crossing streets

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Editorial | Look both ways before crossing streets

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

To thy happy children (of the present),

As students, we must remember to be courteous to bikers on our morning commutes. We must be aware of our surroundings for the safety of ourselves and others. We must harken back to the wisdom our parents told us during our childhoods: Look both ways when crossing the street.

Now, as the mother of this University, I understand this sentiment is one of common sense and courtesy. I also understand that, as students, you have many responsibilities and other priorities to attend to.

But, we cannot forget we are students of this University. Therefore, just as our academics and extracurriculars are held to the utmost standards, our manners should be held to those standards as well.

Let me provide a quick refresher to proper road crossing etiquette.

First, we must look to each side when crossing any road. This seems self explanatory, but I can see each and every one of you as you cross a street looking directly down at your phones. We cannot exclude bike lanes either. With the advent of the controversial VeoRide bikes, bike mishaps are more abundant than ever.

But wait, there’s more. It’s equally as important to know when to cross a road, as it is to know how to cross a road. Cars almost always wait longer than they should at stop signs because so many students who aren’t near the road speed walk to catch up. Let’s also remember that even if the crosswalk indicates we can cross the road, that doesn’t mean drivers will always receive the same message. They will not always see you, especially as the days grow shorter.

And of course, do not be the student who blindly crosses traffic, especially a two way street, with full knowledge of what is going to happen. Remember that I can see all of you, walking through Wright and Green streets. Many times I have witnessed a student look both ways, acknowledge that there are multiple cars coming, yet still cross the street. Even I cannot decipher why some of my students do this.

For those of you who enjoy the sweet sounds of one of mankind’s greatest gifts (yes, this is music), be sure you are extra keen when crossing. By only hearing what’s coming through your phone and not the sounds of cars or their horns, you are instantly at a greater risk of danger. Preoccupying yourself by responding to a text or checking social media as you walk only amplifies the potential for disaster. At that point, you’re essentially crossing without sight or sound.

Our campus may be inclusive and welcoming to all, but we are not so welcome to a lack of common sense.