Our View: Here they come, Kent State Speed Racers

DKS Editors

When we were children, our parents held our hands when we crossed the street. And when we were old enough to cross streets by ourselves, our parents reminded us to look both ways before we stepped off the curb.

But walking on this campus can be dangerous even if we do follow the unwritten pedestrian rules. Looking both ways before we cross the street – or parking lot – doesn’t guarantee we won’t be taking our lives in our hands. Crossing only at designated crosswalks doesn’t necessarily make us safer than others who jaywalk, and wearing light colors or clothing with reflective strips isn’t always as effective as it ought to be.

This is a pedestrian campus – both by design and by necessity. There simply aren’t enough parking spaces at each building for every student driver to have a spot. And, even with as large as this campus can seem sometimes, it is possible to walk between two buildings almost anywhere on campus in 10 to 15 minutes.

Yet there is a large commuter student population, and many students who live on campus keep cars here so they can go home on weekends or drive to work on weeknights.

So while this may have been designed as a pedestrian campus, the walkers, bikers and drivers among us have to share the roadways around campus.

If there is one thing we know for sure when it comes to sharing these roadways, it’s this: We suck at it.

Whether it’s drivers speeding up Midway Drive past the Centennial Courts and Prentice or the speed demons who use the C and S parking lots to cut from Summit Road to Johnston Drive, there are too many places on campus where posted speed limits are ignored.

Sure, there are times of day and weather conditions where going five – or even 10 – mph over the speed limit is not as risky.

We have at least another five or six weeks of rain, snow and possibly icy weather to look forward to, which means drivers and pedestrians alike can expect slush and black ice that can keep a car from stopping in time.

Even the best weather and road conditions do not warrant driving at 35 or 40 mph in or through a parking lot where the posted speed is considerably less.

Still, even calling out the on-campus speeders and generally bad drivers here at Kent State won’t keep many of you from pressing the accelerator that much closer to the floor the next time you’re running late for class, work or a date.

Not even a well-intentioned request that we all slow down in pedestrian-heavy areas around campus may make much difference.

But the next time you consider rolling through a stop sign, remember that just as much as we are a pedestrian campus, we are also an international campus.

And not all of us were taught to look left, then right, before we cross the street.

The above opinion is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.