The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.



Should bikes and other micro-mobility vehicles be more careful around pedestrians?
Abigail Shimniok

Point: Bikes and Other Vehicles are Dangerous

Bicycles, skateboards, scooters and even the occasional Onewheel or Razor Go-Kart. These are all micromobility vehicles that can be found on the UW-Platteville campus. One thing is undeniable, being that these are all effective ways for students to transport themselves across campus, especially when they are only allotted ten minutes to get from Busby Hall to Ullsvik Hall, which simply walking would not allow for. However, these micromobility vehicles can pose potential dangers to those who walk the sidewalks if the users are not being cautious, just in the same way that passenger cars can pose dangers to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
Those who walk on the sidewalks would most likely have one big concern in common when it comes to micromobility vehicle users, being that some drive them incredibly fast while in larger crowds. The dangers of this are obvious and unnecessarily presented as these vehicles can drive students from point A to point B effectively without needing to drive as fast. This problem becomes exacerbated when taking corners into consideration, such as those around Williams Fieldhouse.
During class transition periods, these sidewalks can become extremely crowded, and when someone speeds around the corners of buildings during these times, it can easily lead to collisions with others.
Sidewalk intersections are another point of concern when it comes to pedestrian safety, just as they are with vehicles. Intersections, such as the ones next to the Markee and Boebel Hall, make perfect opportunities for collisions with others. In between classes, students are coming and going in each direction, making many of their movements unpredictable. Though many are wary of this and pay enough attention to avoid collisions, a single mistake during these busy times could lead to injuries for everyone involved.
None of this is to say that these vehicles should be banned in any way. To emphasize, these vehicles are great ways for students to get from building to building with little time, and most students who use them are responsible enough to avoid situations that could lead to collisions.
Nevertheless, the problem still exists. It is understandable that many micromobility vehicle users get frustrated with some pedestrians not paying well enough attention to their surroundings and wandering directly into their path without warning. This is a problem that exists and will always continue to exist, as these issues are two sides of the same coin. As such, bicyclists, skateboarders and the like need to also ensure that they too are respectfully sharing the sidewalk without putting themselves and others at risk.


Counterpoint: Pedestrians Need to be More Vigilant

After nearly two semesters on campus with a bike, I have become exposed to the complete lack of caution and care represented by the walking community of UW-Platteville. Too often, students get into scrapes, bumps or accidents, involving people on their bikes. The issue isn’t the bikes on campus; – bikes have existed for a long time within campus. The present issue, and I am with the boomers here, is the phones.
I can not count on both hands the number of times I have had to swerve around people in the middle of the sidewalk, buried in their phone. I’m not one to criticize the amount of phone usage people have, but when the mental stimulation comes at the cost of your spatial awareness, you need to pick and choose your moments to scroll.
Putting your phone down helps you and your fellow peers, but that’s half the problem. For the sake of everything good, please take out an AirPod. Just one. Being able to hear a car honk or someone letting you know that they are behind you is incredibly important. I know we all fantasize about being hit by the campus bus, but being hit by a bike isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Sidewalks are wide, and you really do not need to be walking in the middle, making it difficult for everyone around you. Just like how roads work, staying on the right side of the sidewalk provides enough space for other
people, or people on other modes of transportation, to get around.
Being spatially aware will solve nearly all accidents on campus. You have eyes (well, you probably do if you’re reading this), and you should be using them. While accidents do not happen often, they still happen, often due to people not paying attention to what, and who, is around them.
Wheels are not the problem- no one seems to bump into a campus vehicle when it comes down the sidewalks; this is because it is a massive thousand-pound object with the ability to squish you. While bikes, skateboards and scooters lack the noise and size of a car, they still can pose a threat.
If you see a set of wheels coming towards you, just step out of the way. It is a lot easier for you to adjust your course off a sidewalk than a bike. When you’re crossing the sidewalk, look before you cross just like how you would cross a street. Keep an ear open for anyone behind you. It’s truly not that hard.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All Exponent Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *