While classes can be worrying enough, getting to class can be even more stressful. When thousands of students on foot, bike and longboard try to share the sidewalks, it is bound to become chaotic. The new self-balancing scooters that have recently popped up around campus add another complication to the mix.
Welcome to a new era of Swagways and EROVER, the little devices that look like Segways without handles and make it easier for students to text on their way to class without having to put in any legwork. The self-balancing machines are controlled by simply leaning forward and backward and, as the name suggests, claim to be relatively klutz-proof.
Undoubtedly the new gadgets are handy and flashy, but just like students who choose to walk, users should be cognizant of proper foot traffic patterns.
When students are all traveling at different speeds along the sidewalk, things can become difficult. If each student practices discretion, many collisions and lulls can be prevented.
One advantage of these new scooters is that they can slow down very easily, unlike longboards, skateboards and bicycles. When students on wheels are hurtling down the sidewalk at full speed, pedestrians in their way are forced to jump aside for their safety. However, users of the new transportation gadgets should still practice common courtesy indoors. Rolling up into an elevator or around the dining hall is not only showing off in bad taste, but it’s also a testament to laziness.
Pedestrians can contribute their part by staying alert and keeping their eyes on the sidewalk, not on their phones. When pedestrians have their heads down and are walking on the left side of the sidewalk, it messes up the flow of traffic, particularly during crowded times.
Even when all rules are followed, the sidewalks still feel crowded and inconvenient. The campus has announced plans to widen the sidewalks around the lake, but it is clear to anyone who has traveled from Merrick to Dooley during a passing period that upgraded walkways are needed to give more elbow room for all students rushing to class, whether by foot or by wheels.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.