Biking on campus: a possible danger

Annaliza Guard, Reporter

After a close call, I am questioning the safety of bicycles on campus.

A friend and I were walking towards the Campbell Student Union during Bengal Pause when someone on a bicycle approached us. They were going very fast and were headed in our direction. In response, we moved to the opposite side of the sidewalk, only to have the biker turn to that direction. He was not about to use his brakes, and started to shout “WATCH OUT,” so my friend and I split apart, letting the biker have a clear path between the two of us. This time, he headed directly for me, almost running me off the sidewalk before he passed by close enough to feel his wind.

As the weather is warming up, people are getting out in the fresh, open air. It is finally warm enough to go out for leisurely walks and bike rides. In addition to the good exercise, riding a bike is better for the earth than riding in a car and can be a great alternative. And with the creation of more bike lanes, biking is encouraged more than ever.

SUNY Buffalo State accommodates those riding their bikes to school through the various bike racks found near several campus buildings, including the E. H. Butler Library, Campbell Student Union, and Caudell Hall. Students can ride their bikes to school and park them in the quad while they are in class.

Despite the central location of these bike racks, bringing students closer to buildings than a parking lot would, some students feel the need to ride to each and every class. The sidewalks are a busy place, as we are all trying to get to class on time.

Here’s the crazy thing: we all make it! We don’t need to ride our bike to make it there in ten minutes.

If that is absolutely necessary and there is no other way to get to class on time but to ride a bike, then by all means, please do. However, it would be very hard to justify going at fast speeds in areas where people are walking.

Bikers (and skateboarders, too) need to remember that they are going faster than those walking, and need to be more aware of the damage they can cause if they hit someone. Physics, anyone?

People are unpredictable. They don’t walk in straight lines. Biking behind unsuspecting people is especially dangerous. While a biker may be approaching a walker from the opposite direction, it still isn’t much safer. In my case, the biker changed his direction multiple times, confusing me and making it harder for me to get out of his way. While people should be aware of others, they shouldn’t always have to look out for bikes (and prepare to dive into a mud puddle to avoid a possible collision) while walking on the sidewalks.

I urge those of you riding to park your bikes in the racks. For those of you who cannot make it on time without riding a bike or skateboard, please be cautious of those around you and do not ride too fast or in the direction of those walking.


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