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Monday, May 16, 2022

Columns

Skateboarders should not give safety a shove-it around crowds


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If you want to use a skateboard or a longboard, you must challenge yourself to consider pedestrians. | Leah Nash/ The Cougar

We’ve been in school for four weeks now and I’ve managed to see more skater-pedestrian collisions since school started than I did in all of last year.

Everyone’s allowed to get to class in the way they want. Longboard? Sure. Skateboard? Only if you’re cool with feeling every individual rock and pebble that you ride over. But still, yes. Penny? If you can squeeze your feet onto that micro-monstrosity, go for it.

The university doesn’t restrict your wheels of choice, but riders should abide to a set of etiquette. Besides facilitating a safer, less-prone-to-collision environment on campus, it can reduce the number of people who hate skaters because of that one incident.

If riders are in a crowded area, they should consider getting off their board and walking. It’s that simple. This is most likely a concept that skaters will roll their eyes at, but it’s the most courteous thing to do whenever there are people between you and your destination.

Even if you’re skilled at maneuvering your board, I promise the people you’re moving toward will have no idea how they can get out of your way. Sometimes walkers may even try to anticipate where you are going incorrectly and step right into the point of impact. Just walk around them. It’s easier and safer that way.

Another rule to consider is that if it’s busy and you’re skating for fun, come back another time.

Whenever I’m walking to Student Center North, there are almost always people treating the outdoor space between the Student Centers like it’s a skate park.

I understand that the nearest skate parks are downtown and not all people want to go that far to practice their hobby. However, wouldn’t skating around that area be much easier if it wasn’t at peak hours, where there will not be people trying to get to places and cutting through that area?

The last and most important rule to consider is to make your intentions of where you are going clear. It takes a little bit of communication to navigate safely, but that will help you when traveling through campus.

Predictable skaters are the best kind of skaters. No one likes a skater who weaves in, out and around other people. It’s stressful to those who enjoy their ankles and not getting crashed into.

Skating is a lot like driving. It takes an understanding of the constantly changing environment and all the movements in one’s vicinity to get from point A to point B in time and without a tumble.

Skaters to walkers on campus are a lot like cyclists to drivers on the road. If they’re being safe and courteous while not devouring a disproportionate amount of the roadway, they won’t get dirty looks and disdain from their counterparts.

Assistant opinion editor Thom Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

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