Editorial: Sidewalk jams bad for you, me and Brittney Griner

By Asher Freeman
By Asher Freeman

It is inescapably apparent that Baylor has become a lot more green lately.

However in spite of the sweet look of the recent makeover, there are significant drawbacks.

Namely, the traffic this has caused on every major thoroughfare on campus.

The grounds on campus are looking more beautiful every day, but perhaps Baylor should balance its attention to how much grass we have with the logistical problems these privileges cause. The pedestrian traffic, for example.

Fountain Mall, that green jewel that is the center of campus, is one such burden on the growing problem of traffic circulation on campus.

Many of us may remember that Fountain Mall once had a large bike lane circling the field. While it may not have been the smoothest or the most eye-catching road on campus, it still served a purpose (however dubiously).

The new sidewalks are perfect for bikers, longboarders and walkers alike. However, the nature of the sidewalk forces all of these commuters to share it during the same rush hours throughout the day.

In Fountain Mall and the other major roads on campus, the first day of school is like a battlefield. Freshmen and upperclassmen alike fall left and right trying to get out of the way of bikers and longboarders.

Bikers and longboarders adjusting to the changes on campus invariably crash and burn through intersections, and run painfully into people who find it impossible to look when they’re crossing the street.

People checking their seemingly imperative texts while they’re walking run into each other and exchange awkward glances when they realize no one else is to blame. Yes, we could say campus traffic is a major problem.

Baylor seems to have added a bike lane everywhere but Fountain Mall, the busiest and most constraining thoroughfare to campus commuters. Bikers, longboarders, scooters, unicyclists and — our favorite — rollerbladers have no choice but to use the somewhat inconvenient Fountain Mall to cross campus.

It’s almost dangerous to walk through, but we’re sure that the dozens of pedestrians walking on crutches right now are comforted by the fact that Baylor has the greenest grass in Texas.

The only people who really benefit from all of the cosmetic changes on campus are the chosen few who get to ride the golf carts for whatever reasons, and Brittney Griner.

For Brittney none of these things matter.

People should be jumping into the hedges to get out of her way, lest she fall from her longboard and break Mulkey’s heart.

For everyone else, we’ve all thought about stealing (and by that we mean “borrowing”) one of those oh-so-tempting golf carts and sailing all the way to the Baylor Sciences Building on a magic carpet ride.

And if you did, no one would blame you — except the people in charge who have to for obvious reasons. It’s a long way to anywhere from the BSB, and the sun in this Texas heat is a cruel companion on that long walk from the residence halls.

We’re not expecting traffic problems to be completely eliminated.

In fact, on-campus traffic is rather well accommodated compared to other schools. And we know it will be awhile before construction becomes less invasive, particularly around Marrs McLane Science Building and the BSB. However, we at the Lariat are completely justified in asking that everyone, pedestrians, drivers and bikers alike, be considerate of each other and conscious of each other’s needs.

This, coupled with a bike lane in Fountain Mall, will help all of us get around much easier.

Also — most importantly — it would protect Brittney Griner.