Letters to the Editor: 11.22.13

In giving a “jeer” to the mac and cheese burger served recently at Winslow Dining Hall, it would seem you are a very minor minority.

More than 600 of those burgers were served, exceeding expectations by about 150 servings.

Furthermore, the pesto chicken that was also served that night, and which typically is scooped up by more than 500 customers, paled in popularity that night with less than 300 served.

So I’d say it turned out to be a pretty good idea.

 

Letter by Paula Amols, director of Dining Services and Racer Hospitality

 

I know you’re busy. You’ve got classes, studying, projects, fraternity/sorority functions and other associated things on your mind. You are also thinking about where to go Thursday night, what’s going on this weekend and if the Racers will win this week. Meanwhile, you have to keep up with the latest stuff on Chive, Vine, Twitter and Instagram.

Oh, and you better check your Snapchat too, just in case. So there you are, walking to your next class, checking your phone, on autopilot, and suddenly you hear screeching tires and you look up. You were crossing the street, and the oncoming car nearly hit you.

It seems pretty obvious, that you should look both ways before crossing the street, but many Racers seem to have forgotten this basic concept.

Also, there is apparently some misinformation out there about pedestrian/vehicle laws, and there may be some things you didn’t know about. I’d like to talk a little bit about those laws – both Kentucky Law and the Laws of Physics.

Let’s start with Kentucky Law. First, there is a belief out there that a pedestrian has the right-of-way every time he or she steps into the street. Nope. The law states that pedestrians only have the right-of-way in a crosswalk or at a marked intersection. I’ve also heard the rumor that if you get hit by a car near campus, your tuition is free.

Nope. If you are crossing where you don’t have the right-of-way, not only will you not get free tuition, the vehicle’s driver isn’t responsible for your medical bills. Oh, and you may have to pay for any damage to the car or anything else that happens as a result of you crossing somewhere you shouldn’t. Even if you are using the crosswalk, you still have to make sure the driver knows you’re there, and intend to cross. It says “No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

That brings us to the Laws of Physics. An average passenger vehicle needs 136 feet to stop at 35 mph. 136. That’s almost half a football field.

On a dry day. Also, that’s a passenger car (think Toyota Camry) not a Suburban, or a pickup truck, or a dump truck. Oh, and how many people actually make sure their brakes work? What if the driver is texting, too?

In the last 12 months in the city of Murray, there have been eight significant vehicle pedestrian collisions resulting in injury or death. Out of those eight collisions, five of them involved people going to Murray State. Five out of eight.

In 2005, a Murray State student was killed less than two blocks from campus when she was struck by a vehicle while walking home.

This is a serious problem, and something needs to be done.

The question is, what can be done? The walking bridge from Dorm Circle to campus helps a lot, but the most recent injury was sustained by someone who chose to cross elsewhere on Chestnut instead of using the bridge.

The crosswalk signs on 16th Street make the crosswalks more noticeable, but they are really taking a beating.

The solution is you. You need to take the initiative and pay attention to where you’re going. Before you step into the street, look the driver in the eye. Make sure he or she is paying attention.

You might wave and smile. You might not. It doesn’t matter if you make a new friend, what matters is that you keep yourself alive doing something you learned when you were little.

 

Letter by David Howe, nonstudent from Murray.