September 17, 2002    |   |   online since 1994
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Tucson in transit

KEVIN KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Geology junior Nathan Kenney rides his motorcycle down East Fourth Street on Thursday afternoon. Motorcycle riding has become increasingly popular among students due to the affordability of the bikes themselves, inexpensive campus parking permits and very convenient parking spaces.
By Eric Bochner
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 17, 2002

A serious problem that is really taking the fun out of living in Tucson. It is the driving that is irritating many people here at UA. The weather disasters would not be so bad if Tucson drivers didn't freak out every time the sun goes away for a little bit. Seriously, if a drop of moisture appears on a windshield, a traffic jam forms in 2.5 seconds. The ignorant driving must stop, and it isn't just when the weather is bad. Oh no, this is a year-round epidemic.

The change in traffic signals is a bit drastic at first. In the Midwest, the green arrow comes before the green light. It is understandable when tourists don't know what to do right away. However, it is almost a certainty that tourists are only a small percentage of the problem. Let's face it: Tucson's idea that old people never have to renew their driver's license does not help matters any.

They can go deaf and blind and still try to drive to Fry's while simultaneously remaining within the parameters of the law. Now these issues can be taken up with the proper city officials, but the greatest problem is right around campus- and that means 95-percent of the problem is us. Well, you. True, with the huge influx of new students, there are more cars than ever before.

Road rage is seen all around the city. People tailgate, honk and cuss out other drivers. It can get pretty hairy out there when the tempers are wearing thin.

"I actually saw a guy get out of his car and walk back to a car that was following him too closely and honking," said undeclared junior Ross Felding.

"He pulled a little dog out of her car and threw it on the sidewalk and then he just got back in his car and drove away."

Some of these people shouldn't be driving at all. For the rest of the population that uses Tucson's roadways, there are some changes that need to come about concerning safety and courteous driving. Cmdr. Brian Seastone of the UAPD stated that most of the accidents that occur around the campus area are due to speeding and following too closely. If we pay attention to what's going on while we drive, we can make the roads a little more efficient and a lot safer.

Everyone trying to schedule their classes late enough so the hangover won't hurt too bad and early enough so that there is ample time to prepare for the flesh factories-bars- could be a big part of the problem. It could also be that all the guys are busy looking at the girls walking by instead of looking in front of them to see that the light changed or the stop sign is awaiting their approach. Another possibility as to why the driving around campus has such a pathetic success rate is that everyone decided it was more important to talk to a friend on a cell phone than to pay attention to what was going on right in front of them. It is because of people like you that Park Ave. and Speedway Blvd. is so often garnished with crumpled fenders and shattered tail lights.


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