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The Appalachian

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Hijabi Hot Takes: Protect pedestrians

Hijabi+Hot+Takes%3A+Protect+pedestrians

As the first couple weeks of the semester come to a close, students may have noticed that as pedestrians, drivers can be a bit disrespectful. Whether one is walking to class and having to cross Rivers Street or walking off campus to get some McDonald’s, it can be a scary experience, for both drivers and pedestrians.

Areas on campus that see a lot of vehicular and pedestrian traffic are Locust Street on the East side of campus and Stadium Drive on the West side. Both roads being on campus have speed limits of 20, according to the App State Police Department, and drivers on those roads “must slow down or stop to allow pedestrians to cross the street when they are in a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at or near an intersection.” 

The amount of drivers speeding up the East side hill all the way up to the Summit Circle as hundreds of students are walking to and from their residence halls is ridiculous. The same goes for cars driving up and down Stadium Drive that don’t even stop at the crosswalk between New River Hall and Trivette Dining Hall. That crosswalk is the only structured area for students to cross that street other than the intersection at the bottom of the hill. Often, students cross that street anywhere they please, which isn’t necessarily helpful. However, it happens so often that drivers should expect students on that street at all times and should manage their speed accordingly. 

Campuses are supposed to be walkable communities and the few areas with vehicular access should always yield to those walking. Walkable communities are disappearing and not as common anymore, so let students enjoy their college campuses being walkable without the fear of being run over.

Living in Boone, students should know that some areas in town are less lit than others, especially off campus. In the same way that drivers owe pedestrians the right of way, pedestrians owe drivers clarity. It seems obvious, but pedestrians should stick to crosswalks when walking on the main roads in Boone. Of course, nobody deserves to get hit, even if they do not use a crosswalk. At least at intersections and crosswalks, drivers can expect to see pedestrians. Why would a pedestrian risk their life by not walking a few more feet to reach the crosswalk? The App State Police Department’s website urged pedestrians to “Not assume that a vehicle can or will stop, even though [they] are at a designated crosswalk.”

With the recent pedestrian and road rage incidents, it is up to drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other and keep Boone safe. Pedestrians should be extra vigilant about drivers who may not respect their right of way before crossing streets and should always use crosswalks just in case. Drivers should recognize Boone as a town with many pedestrians at all times of the day and respect their right of way. There is absolutely no place one has to be that is more important than a person’s life. Slow down. Be vigilant. Keep each other safe.

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About the Contributor
Nadine Jallal, Opinion Writer
Nadine Jallal (she/her) is a senior secondary english education major.
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Comments (3)

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  • C

    Connery MartinAug 31, 2023 at 10:20 am

    I would appreciate this article more if it provided tips to both motorists and pedestrians on what they can do beyond their legal duties to prevent incidents. For motorists, you mentioned looking out on Stadium Dr as it is a highly trafficked area. For pedestrians, it would be helpful if you had mentioned things like wearing more visible clothing at night, walking towards traffic on the opposite side where there is no sidewalk, and watching out around curves and stepping off the roadway when necessary. Jaywalking is illegal for a reason and pedestrians should not have to face the ultimate reminder of this. Another good tip is to always make eye contact with the motorist, and even wave, before crossing the street as a pedestrian. I would also encourage you to further note that cyclists are not pedestrians and must follow all traffic laws, including signals such as stop lights and signs.

    Reply
  • J

    JanAug 31, 2023 at 8:45 am

    I have seen pedestrians weave through stpped cars, just a few feet from crosswalks. A dangerous practice! We have many drivers from out of town, unaware of crosswalk locations and looking around to find their way.

    Both drivers and pedestrians need to be hyper alert, free of distractions from texting and talking, when crossing busy intersections. Don’t assume the driver will stop, and drivers, don’t assume the pedestrians will wait for the crossing light.

    Traffic is so much heavier than it used to be. Let’s keep everyone safe!

    Reply
  • J

    jill Z VenableAug 31, 2023 at 7:57 am

    This is true at all intersections in town. Students have been hit by cars at intersections at Levine, at 105 and 321 and many places. Students may be crossing the street at all times of the day or night. Please drive appropriately looking for pedestrians at all times.

    Reply