When I transferred to Cal Poly last fall, one of the first things I said was that I was going to get run over by a bicycle before I graduated. Although it hasn’t happened yet, I still think I am correct.
Now, don’t get clever and purposely try to find me to run me down. I understand that bicycles are an easy and economical way to get to class, but it is becoming a major hassle for those of us on foot.
There are certain rules the university has implemented to try to keep us pedestrians safe. But for some reason, all you bikers out there are either unaware of these rules, or you’re completely ignoring them. So let’s just go over a few minor details to make sure all of us make it to our graduation without an unfortunate accident.
Stop signs mean STOP! Do you run them when you’re driving? Probably not. So, where are you getting the guts to run stop signs on your bike? While I was crossing the street on my way to school last week there was a car at a stop sign on campus. Right before I got out of the car’s way a bicyclist came darting through the stop sign and didn’t even think twice about applying her brakes.
If I was not already paranoid about this problem, I would have been a new design on the pavement. At least slow down until you are sure there are no pedestrians before you go on your way.
Walk zones mean walk. Are these signs invisible to some people? These are walk zones because they are so busy with foot traffic that it’s too dangerous to ride. Some of you may have been warned by the University Police Department last week, but I doubt they’re still just warning. They will ticket you if you decide to take a chance and ride through these walkways and few people are going to have sympathy for you.
Let people know where you are. When riding through a busy walkway, speak up when you’re behind someone who is in your way. Saying “on your right,” lets people know you’re behind them and they can get out of your way on the left. Just staying behind them and then darting around them when you get a chance is very dangerous. One wrong move and we’ll be pancakes.
Stay to the right. The right side of the road is your friend. When you’re on a city road just stick by the rules you probably learned as a child. The right is for bikes and the left is for walking. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to get somewhere and there is a bicyclist annoyed that you’re in their way when the other side of the street is completely free. It is a lot easier for a bicyclist to get over there than it is for me. It is a little harder to abide by this rule on campus, but just keep it in mind.
Stay in the bike lanes, they are also your friend. There is nothing more annoying than getting stuck behind a bicyclist who halfway in the street. It makes drivers have to go three mph behind them until there is enough room to pass.
Some people have road rage and I guess I have bike rage. If everyone can abide by the same rules, at least most of the time, I think everyone will feel a lot safer and I can have faith I’ll make it to my graduation without a bike in my back.
Kathrene Tiffin is a journalism senior, Mustang Daily staff writer and Spotlight editor who is bikerageous.