A Plea to Sidewalk Bikers: Stop It
Dear Sidewalk Bikers,
Get this: It’s called a sidewalk for a reason.
Yep. Seriously. It says so, right there in the dictionary.
This is long overdue, and directed toward all of you Penn State sidewalk bikers. The slow ones, the fast ones, the really fast ones, the ones who expect everyone and thing in their path to move for them, the ones who think our campus is an obstacle course, the lot of you: Either ride your bike on the street or walk with it when you’re on the damn sidewalk.
There is not a pedestrian on campus or downtown who isn’t annoyed by the whirring of your tires as you recklessly fly past. We are in hurries, too. We understand why you would take a bike to campus. There are many fine reasons for doing so. But it’s baffling that you can’t make the walk once on campus from Sackett to Willard, for instance. Just walk! Isn’t that less stressful than risking the well-being of everyone around you, anyway?
The sidewalks are crowded. Pollock and Curtin Roads are not. The sidewalks are there for us to walk on. Pollock and Curtin Roads are there for us to bike on.
So why do you do it? Do you get brownie points with a sidewalk biking deity for how many pedestrians out of whom you scare the living shit? The sidewalk biker who blazed past me down the Allen Street Mall on Wednesday, for instance, seemed like he was treating the students as actual obstacles. I’m serious, he just ducked in and out of us like we were bananas on Mario Kart. The sidewalk biker who I watched zoom through the construction area on College Avenue across from Urban Outfitters got an “ARE YOU SERIOUS??” out of one of the women he nearly trucked but kept on biking along.
I ask you: How many minutes of walking time would be added to your day by taking sidewalks for what they are? 10, max?
If this letter and the rules of the land won’t make you change your dangerous ways, other action must be taken. Therefore, I encourage all students to take up this policy until sidewalk bikers step off their pedals:
Intentionally walked slowly in front of a sidewalk bicyclist for the first time this semester. Feels great to be back!
— Stephen Pianovich (@SPianovich) January 13, 2014
We walkers have our issues, too. But come on, sidewalk bikers. You’re being assholes.