Getting from point A to point B on the University of Arizona campus sometimes seems downright suicidal.
The latest proof comes from the UA Police Department, which plans to crack down on speeding in parking lots and garages. Those who get a kick out of peeling out of parking spaces and racing down the concrete ramps to the exit will face stiff fines and extra points marked down on their driver's rap sheet.
No, this is not just the UAPD's quest for more and better ways of annoying people. Complaints about parking-lot reckless driving are on the increase, and many (presumably careful) drivers are sick of near misses.
Hopefully, the new rules will make a difference. But it's a sure bet they won't do anything to attack the cause of the problem.
Simply put, traffic is hell because people in this city and on this campus drive like maniacs. Next time an ambulance tries to get through an intersection, watch. Tucson drivers will keep barreling through the light until the last possible moment, seemingly unaware that somebody, somewhere, might need medical assistance.
And on campus the situation is even worse. There's not a lot of street space, but drivers pretend they're on Campbell and drive however they feel like it.
But the problem doesn't end with drivers. Pay attention to pedestrians, too, who step off the curb and onto the pavement without so much as glancing to see if fate is bearing down on them in the form of a 1977 Caprice Classic. Or watch as pedestrians stroll along in the middle of the street feeling safe because, after all, there are so many of them that drivers will be forced to slow to a standstill.
The bicyclists on campus are no better. Since all the streets and bike ways are clogged with pedestrians, cyclists feel perfectly justified in hopping the curb and taking off down the sidewalk. They go as fast as they can because they have faith in the maneuverability of their human-powered vehicles.
In short, the problem is a severe and chronic lack of courtesy that no number of tickets or fines will solve. And considering the sheer volume of humans running, rolling or roaring across campus, the situation isn't likely to get better any time soon. Instead, hostility will continue to grow among the three camps (drivers, walkers and bikers).
Perhaps a campus-wide prescription for Prozac is in order. Read Next Article