Stop walking in the street

We’ve all seen the hordes of students crossing the streets on Georgia State campus, and whether you’re on a bike, in a car, or walking, chances are that you’ve had to stop dead in your tracks as an army of backpacks and iPods storms its way across streets and parks, traveling wherever it may please.

It’s frustrating, I know. We’ve all had to navigate through it and around it. A veritable mob of students listening to their ear buds and looking at the back of the heads of the people in front of them. They block roads, stop traffic and trample over grass and flowerbeds just to get to the class they’re probably already late for.

It’s become enough of a problem that students have begun to receive jaywalking tickets. Don’t worry; I’m not arguing about that—they probably deserve it. Too many times have I seen students listening to headphones and literally walk into the street without looking either way at all. They continue to their classes and drivers screech to a halt and throw their hands in the air in frustration.

I don’t understand why students need to use their newfound college freedom to walk in the street. I understand the idea of youthful rebelliousness, but surely some rules are just sensible and don’t need to be broken.

The term “jaywalking” is a play on the 1920’s jazz age slang “jay” which pretty much meant a reckless and oblivious person. I think it still applies pretty well to the situation; students obliviously and recklessly walk into the street. It’s dumb.

So what is the root of the problem? As campus grows, there needs to be an increasing focus on creating safe pedestrian passageways for students to get around campus. There are some places where these already exist, such as the awesome library bridge, as well as other passages through and under various buildings on campus.

As campus grows, it will be important for student safety for there to be ways for students in large groups to be able to migrate safely from one end of campus to the other. I mean, think about it, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a tunnel between GCB and Aderhold, I know it’s too late for that now, but that’s how we need to start thinking.

A safe pedestrian walkway system on campus has its beginnings; it just needs to be improved upon. But in the meantime, students, will you please take out your ear-buds and look where you are walking for once? For everyone’s sake.