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Pedestrians´ right of way puts them in the way

By H.G. Miller

H.G. MillerHaving passed driver´s education with a solid C, I vaguely remember learning that pedestrians always have the right of way. I still believe firmly in this principle.

That being said, I also would like to mention that,should some pedestrian decide to take on my car as it hurtles down the road at a minimum of 10 mph faster than the speed limit, the car would win.

I am not saying that I would try to hit anybody. However, when someone steps off the curb, slows their pace and gives me that I´m-too-cool-to-hurry-across-the-street look, the gas pedal tends to get just a little closer to the floorboard.

Look, all I´m asking is that whoever crosses the street in front of me acknowledges that he or she is in my way and doesn´t dawdle. The hand wave is time-honored because it works.

Keep in mind, I am talking in general, city-wide terms. The issues surrounding campus driving are completely different.

At any given point during the day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., about 10,000 people will cross the streets of campus and any attempt to drive through the masses of bleached hair, khaki shorts and fashionable sandals shows a serious lack of judgment.

Campus is closed for a reason. Yes, I know the air-conditioner isn´t working in your car, and you only wanted to check out the pretty landscape while short-cutting your way to the many shopping options on 23rd Street. I feel for you. I really do.

It´s called Tennessee Street, though. Use it.

As with all issues, there is a flip side to campus driving. As stated earlier, cars are large, life-endangering objects, often driven by people like me — people who tend to be distracted by little squirrels running through trees.

Use some common sense when crossing the street. Look both ways, please. Not to bring you down or anything, but your specific whereabouts (i.e. on the curb or on the hood of my car) are not the top priority on my list.

I also would like to interject a rule that a friend of mine and many others follow. The five o´clock rule. Simply stated: After five, campus is open and everyone is fair game.

Finally, I´d like to comment on the whole parking thing.

Thankfully, we are finally past the dark days of no parking spaces. A small thanks from me to all the teachers who don´t take attendance, which inadvertently allows for the freeing up of parking spaces.

I, and many others, no longer need to troll around endlessly, sucking up the nauseating fumes from 1,000 other cars, trying to find spots for 8:30 a.m. classes. Yes, those were desperate times.

However, old habits die hard, and there is a certain thrill to gunning down a narrow aisle of parked cars at about 70 mph. Walking up the hill is good for more than just making your legs look good. It also gives them the strength you´ll need to get out of the way quickly.

Not that I´d actually try to hit anybody.

Miller is a Hutchinson senior majoring in English.



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