It’s great to see that Cal Poly is finally getting with the times. Really, the fact that I can eat on campus without forcing freshmen to let me use their Plu$ dollars is really very exciting. But no matter how big the Rec Center is, or how many Starbucks kiosks pop up on campus, it is still impossible for anyone to find a parking spot.
I admit, I happily played the parking game for two and a half years, but really, it’s a losing game.
If you don’t get frustrated by having to waste gas circling the parking structure like a shark stalking its prey, it may get on your nerves when you follow someone to their car only to find that they weren’t leaving at all (though it would have been nice of them to communicate this with you a few miles back). And don’t get me started on those drivers who ignore your “It’s mine!” blinker and swoop your spot (yeah, you better hide in your car, you coward).
This is why I elected to park in a secretive off-campus location (if I told you, I’d have to kill you) instead of buying an annual parking pass. I admit that I no longer have to worry about tarrying in the structure or the various other lots on campus. But as it turns out, I have only succeeded in finding new obstacles to keep me from getting to class on time.
One such pain is the fact that although pedestrians are supposed to have the right-of-way (if I dash, you brake), it seems that bikes and cars somehow manage to make getting to school like one big game of Frogger. Since the majority of my on-campus transporting used to be from inside a car, I suppose I am guilty of this hypocrisy as well because when getting to class, pedestrians don’t have the right-of-way, they’re just in the way. It doesn’t matter if you are in a car or on foot, when you are trying to get to class or to the parking structure, you are the superior being. In a car, you claim superiority because you are surrounded by metal and armed with a driver’s insurance. On foot, you are superior because, well, campus code dictates that you are. But still, there’s the driver/pedestrian stare-down. Eye contact is the key to owning the road: Pedestrians make eye contact, and drivers avoid it (they’ve lost once they know that the person they’re about to topple over is in their math class).
And then there are the bikers. Bikers seem to have it best because they morph from pedestrian to vehicle at will. They act like pedestrians when they don’t feel like stopping at stop signs (which they can be fined for), and they act like cars when they want to use traffic lights with the big kids. I’ve found that the best thing is to ignore them (sort of like how you would ignore a 40-year-old man at Downtown Brewing Co.). Just go about your business as usual, and hope they don’t bother you (the same goes for pervy old men at bars).
I have a message for you, bikers: If you want to pretend you’re a car, that’s fine. Just don’t cry when I make a right turn into your bike when you decided you were too good for the stop sign (seriously, stop crying).
So while Associated Students Inc. and the powers that be are making strides to improve campus life, there is one thing their priority-stealing (blame them the next time you can’t get any classes) little hands can’t touch: crazed pedestrians, drivers and bikers who all think that the road is their playground. And don’t get me started (don’t even get me started) on golf carts and skateboards.
I realize that now I may have an even harder time getting to campus, what with cars and bikes swerving to hit me with vengeance (but really, I don’t think it could get any worse). I celebrate Cal Poly’s progress (STARBUCKS!) but can’t let it get off too easy. I still love you, Cal Poly, but I really hate getting to and around campus.
Allison Baker is an English senior, Mustang Daily columnist and pop-culture enthusiast.