Walkers and Bikers: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Growing up in a non-college town can really protect you from knowledge of one of the most discussed problems on college campuses: the adverse relationship between walkers and cyclists. Whether you hear a nearby classmate complaining about being hit by a biker, or a bike rider in shock at the ignorance of a pedestrian, the problem is inescapable. And believe it or not, you will end up choosing a side. You will not like it. Enter Tori, the helpful moderator of these dueling forces, to give some insight on how these two sides can see the other a little more clearly.

Tips & Common Sense For The Everyday College Student On-The-Go:

  • Look both ways when crossing the street, a bike path, anything! This goes without saying, but so many university students disregard this one rule of the road. I cannot count the number of times I have seen a pedestrian cross the bike path and nearly get struck by a passing biker who had no time to call out to them. Of course, this also happens in reversed order as well. The key point of this tip is to be aware of your surroundings and be careful!
  • Stay on the path that is designated for you! Yet again, this is even more common sense instructions that are forgotten every day on campus. No one should have to live in fear of walking on the sidewalk or riding on the side of the road. There are two separate paths for a reason. If we all stayed on our assigned paths, there would hardly be a problem in the first place. Bikers should also move off into the street if there is no bike path or have the courtesy to walk their bike in a heavy crowd. There are a few exceptions in the way of longboarders and scooter riders, but everything else is pretty drawn out for you.
  • Be forgiving. Keeping an open mind is another way to make this entire situation much easier and more pleasant. One friend related to me the story of how he saw a very confused international student walking on the bike path only to be hit by an oncoming cyclist. Obviously, the international student did not comprehend which path was which, but the biker quickly turned the situation around and made themselves the victim. This is the exact opposite of what you should do in a situation like this. If an accident does occur, remain calm and try to see both sides of the incident. While you may have the right to be angry, you should not exercise it so horribly. Keeping a level head in these day-to-day situations is yet another step toward a happier, more functional campus experience.
  • Keep your ears open and alert people. Letting someone know you are there is one of the greatest things any campus commuter can do. If you are riding full speed through campus and see a walker, call out to them with something along the lines of “coming up on your right” or some other warning. Your peers will appreciate this heads-up and, more often than not, move accordingly. If you are a pedestrian, try to avoid texting, too loud of music or anything else that might distract you from your surroundings. This goes double for bikers. Biking and any kind of multi-tasking is extremely dangerous. So overall, concentrate on the task at hand and work together with your fellow walkers and bikers to be completely aware.

The Bottom Line?

Cyclists and pedestrians can easily coexist if everyone does their part in being aware, courteous and having basic common sense. Next time you cut someone off or have a close call with a biker, remember these tips!

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.
Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. On campus, Tori can often be found working on various projects for Her Campus Illinois, acting in a production or reading. While at home, she enjoys working at her family’s restaurant or exploring with her friends.