OPinion

2019 has been an awful year for pedestrians at the University of Arkansas. On January 19, a construction worker was injured in a hit-and-run incident on Garland Avenue. A few weeks later, a student was tragically killed by a distracted driver in the same area.

These accidents are serious and present a pending threat to students, faculty and staff alike at the UofA. As a result, they also require serious action, and the true cause of the problem is clear: the UofA must get rid of crosswalks, every last one of them. Now is the age of crosswalk abolition.

My belief in the total and absolute abolition of all crosswalks, not just on campus, but throughout the world, is entirely and wholeheartedly sincere, but I’m aware that most people might need some persuading. One question arises more than any other: if not by crosswalks, how can one safely cross a street? Well, dear reader, allow me to answer all your questions and more.

As a God-fearing man, I try to cross as few streets as possible. If I’m on one side of the street, it’s because God willed me to be there. Should I be struck with the obligation to cross a roadway for such arrogant purposes as attending my classes, I have to grit my teeth and beg for mercy, enduring an entirely justified degree of fear and anxiety that accompanies such a daring defiance.

I’m aware, of course, that not all people are as pious as I. As a pragmatic opinion writer, I’m also required to offer solutions to my many secular readers. For them, I offer one solution: crossbridges. Rather than expecting UA students to cross painted stripes marked with high-visibility signage, we should construct beautiful suspension bridges over existing crosswalks. Such arrangements are the only way to ensure safe passage for UofA students.

Ultimately, suspension crossbridges solve everyone’s problems. In the utopia I am proposing, drivers would be relieved of the obligation to closely monitor the road before them. Should they still stray from the pavement, they can of course be guided back by the massive pillars that will be used to support the crossbridges. In addition, pedestrians would be freed from the dangers that drivers pose, though the added altitude would introduce some risk from the occasional predatory bird.

Some people may take issue with the cost of building dozens of elaborate suspension bridges at every crosswalk on the UA campus. To them, I ask, wouldn’t every other solution be just as costly? We certainly can't expect the UofA to rehire the parking attendants displaced by the Transit and Parking Department’s high-tech license plate scanner. After all, doing so would require that the UofA redistribute money to students (with flexible schedules) by way of an egregious $9.25 minimum wage.

We can’t expect the UAPD to step in either. They’re far too busy cracking down on devilous underage drinkers to be reasonably expected to patrol crosswalks and enforce traffic laws.

It’s obvious to any observer that standard methods have failed to protect UA students. We need bold, decisive methods and we cannot rely on our current institutions to protect us from distracted drivers. We need bold action. We need crossbridges!

 

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