Elsbeth: "Pay attention bicyclers."

Elsbeth suggests: "Pay attention bicyclers."

Blog Staff Two
: This is a good one, but like some of my other responses, I think it's a little too shallow. First, I don't think it's always about just inattentiveness, although that's something I'm victim of too often. Most folks on campus are justifiably occupied with lofty Ivory Tower pursuits, and it's understandable that they'd be distracted. So, what do we think might bring the attentiveness back? How about we start a volunteer program where people randomly sit along sidewalks and paths, shouting "look out!", or "pay attention!"? Probably not, but it's a thought.

Blog Staff Three
: First, people need to realize that when you are crossing a bike path or sidewalk on campus you ARE crossing a busy street and should respect it as such. Everyone should be watching where they are going. People have the right to choose which mode of transportation they commute with and if you choose walking first, good for you, but many of us need a little more speed. By no means does that justify reckless riding, everyone should be paying attention and commuting safely. People seem to be generalizing all bicyclists and boarders as DIRC's, not wearing helmets, flying down hills, not signaling or stopping in traffic, and not using lights but I think that's a very unfair judgment. Those are the small few of the population who are giving the rest of us a bad name.

Blog Staff Four
: Like I said in a previous post, EVERYONE needs to take more responsibility for their actions; cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians alike. Granted the cyclist is usually traveling faster and accompanied by a heavy-ish metal object with sharp parts and therefore should take an extra level of responsibility for watching out for others, not traveling too closely to anyone else, and signaling when passing.

Blog Staff Five: I often wonder how a hyper-attentive world may play out, and all considerations seem frightening. I agree that riding a bicycle necessitates a certain amount of awareness, but can we enforce attention spans? Consider the demographic, college students, and it quickly becomes unattainable. Not to say that college isn't the place for cultivating higher awareness, but sometimes a bicycle serves as an opportunity for relaxation and decompression. I wonder where the middle ground lies? A cyclist must realize their vehicle has potential. If one rides campus weaving aimlessly, jumping curbs, and recklessly endangering pedestrians their putting themselves at risk, while giving the bicycle a bad reputation. As well, if one signals, communicates to others, and maintains common courtesy, their actions reflect positively. I'm just not sold on a campus where everyone rides one speed and has their heads on a constant swivel. It seems to stiff and formal for my free spirit; let's search for balance.

Blog Staff Six: I don't think that attentiveness is the root off the problem here...let's face it, who really pays attention when going to class. No amount of encouragement is going to force people to actually pay attention when commuting to class. People have other things occupying their thoughts when commuting, like schedules and deadlines...and often times the commute is the only time to filter these thoughts and process information. I think the actual problem here is the speed at which people are commuting to class. The campus has decided to address this problem using a strategy learned from several German campuses which actually seems pretty effective. They have decided to paint super cool murals on the ground at busy intersections on campus (such as the Ekeley kiosk and the underground Broadway bridge to the Hill), in the hopes that people will slow down to admire the art. Several studies on the German campuses have revealed that people are actually slowing down to check out the art, so hopefully this will work on our campus! (Although it definitely will not help the attentiveness issue.)

Michael: "Pedestrians: pay attention."

Michael suggests: "Pedestrians: pay attention."

Blog Staff Two: What a nice complement to the other suggestion of "pay attention bicyclers" from Elsbeth. I think there is a general, cultural desire that everyone else pay more attention. This ethos probably applies similarly to grocery checkout lines, car-driving, staff meetings, date-nights and poker. I'm guessing it's probably psychological entropy why we don't just all pay lots of attention. Personally, I have a very distinct quota of attention I can spend. So, my question is: what should I spend it on? I'm thinking that when I walk around, I want that to be as unstructured and uncontrolled as possible; it's kind of my resting time, when I don't have to pay so much attention. If I can zone out, then when I arrive where I'm going, I'm generally fresher!

Blog Staff Three: Michael you sound like a model bicycler for campus, you pay attention, abide the rules, and respect the courtesy of the sidewalk. The observations and comments you made about the pedestrians on campus are dead on. As a cyclists who maintains the same ideals I am frustrated with all the propaganda of bicyclers and skateboarders needing to take all the responsibility of traveling in "predictable, orderly" manners without any pressure put on pedestrians to do the same. I agree that bicyclists and skateboarders need to be more mindful as we travel but even if we were to do all things right, the wandering absent-minded pedestrians create havoc that can not be avoided by safe cyclists and boarders.

Blog Staff Four: Pedestrians do need to pay attention and take some personal responsibility for their own safety. If you are going to text and walk, abruptly change direction, or look down when entering an intersection, you are going to get hurt. Maybe it won't even be a bicycle or a vehicle that hits you, but another person. The injury probably won't be as serious, but you could still hurt the other person or cause them to drop and break personal belongings. EVERYONE needs to be more aware and more responsible for their actions, not just drivers, cyclists, and boarders.

Blog Staff Five: Why don't we talk more often. I love to vocalize on my bicycle and inform pedestrians of my whereabouts. I usually employ various dialects to keep people on their toes, my latest being a Canadian hockey player. The system works pretty well, but what happens when communication break down due to the headphone barrier. I am a big fan of the one headphone rule when walking on campus. If you remove a headphone you can still listen to the tunes, but you also hear the world around you. Paying attention doesn't mean being a Zen Master; it just requires an ability to be mindful and present when walking. Don't get me wrong, I love to space out and get lost in architecture, the blue sky, or a sweet bike, but we must be able to hear/see/feel an imminent situation.

Blog Staff Six: I completely agree. Pedestrians should definitely be paying more attention, especially on campus. I have witnessed many an accident (bicycle related) on campus, and nearly all of them were caused by pedestrians strolling into the bike lane, headphones audibly blasting music. Many of these accidents occurred when pedestrians were exiting a bus and groups of sometimes fifteen pedestrians suddenly mobbed into the bike lane with no warning without even checking for an en route cyclist. I understand...I've taken the bus; you're late to class and you run off the bus and sometimes end up in the bike lane for a few seconds before continuing into the pedestrian lane. But the problem is when a large amount of pedestrians come to a stand-still in the wrong lane, and even sometimes continue to class in that lane. I'm not sure why this is such a frequent occurrence, as there are little pictures painted onto the lanes to direct pedestrians into the correct one...maybe if they spent less time drawing smiley-faces on the little walking people and more time actually commuting in the designated lane, a lot less people would be getting into devastating, spandex-clad cycling accidents.