MacDonald: Bike lanes are for wheels, not feet

Alexandra MacDonald

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Every year, especially at the beginning of each semester, there are plenty of students that learn Colorado State University’s pathways and roads. Now that it’s nearing the middle of the first semester, it’s time to understand that they were put there for a reason — stop walking in the bike lanes. 

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As a person who uses a bike to commute to school, those paths with CAM the Ram skillfully managing a bicycle are the perfect gateway to a speedy path to class. It’s better than feeling claustrophobic on Laurel or Shields, and it’s certainly much faster than walking. 

Students riding without a helmet are putting their lives in danger. (Collegian File Photo)

It would be misleading to judge the walkers who only have the option of the bike path, like the one heading toward the Lory Student Center from Plum. If you suddenly find yourself in that uneasy situation, heading to that dreaded 9 a.m., there’s a solution — avoid walking in large groups. 

There’s nothing more annoying than managing to slide through people to avoid hitting them, only to suddenly slam on the brakes when a mass of freshmen can’t walk in pairs. 

Bear in mind, bikes are not the only ones who use the bike lanes — but we are the ones who find it easiest to brake without hurting anyone. Boosted boards, longboards, skateboards and even Razor scooters are all student vehicles on campus. Yet, these don’t have an easy lever to pull when a sudden need arises. 

If you’re not going to walk in the middle of the street during rush hour, why walk in the bike lane where you’re just as much of an obstacle?”

In her freshman year, Zoe Mack, now a sophomore, was forced to throw herself onto the grass in order to avoid hitting a group of people clogging the bike lane while on her longboard. Injury can be no joke, but she was lucky to land where she only got a few grass stains.

“It’s honestly not that hard to be considerate,” Mack said. 

Mack chose not to ride her longboard again during rush class times and joined the people on the long walk from her dorm to the Clark Building. 

The bottom line is that it’s a safety issue. Being blatantly unaware while clearly walking in a bike lane can be a hazard both to the walker and the rider. It’s ridiculous that it has to be said, but be mindful of where you walk and how you do it. 

If you’re not going to walk in the middle of the street during rush hour, why walk in the bike lane where you’re just as much of an obstacle? 

On the road, at least in the United States, we move on the right side of the pavement. The farther to the right you are, the more room you can give the people wanting to pass you. It’s the same for the bike lanes here on campus. 

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Walking in the bike lane isn’t ideal, and it’s truly irritating to riders when there is a clear walking path. There’s no excuse for becoming an obstacle in the path when you clearly have your own. When there isn’t a choice and you find yourself walking on the only path, be considerate and don’t mob up.

Alexandra MacDonald can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexandramacc.