Campus needs cycling rules

By By Karl Pace,

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By Karl Pace,

Editor:

My wife works at the Park Building. Since I work nearby, I often drop her off for work and pick her up. Like many people who walk on campus regularly, I have had many close calls with bicycles and skateboards. Last week, my luck ran out.

On Sept. 2, I was mowed down by a young man on a bicycle. People who witnessed the accident estimate the bike was going about 25 mph when it plowed into me from behind. I never saw it coming, and I had no chance to get out of the way.

My body stopped the bike and I was thrown violently to the sidewalk. The EMTs arrived and examined me to see if I had any life-threatening injuries. I was injured but seemingly not too seriously. After a while, they determined I needed to go to the emergency room at the University Hospital. My wife took me up to the hospital, where I had excellent care that took nearly three and a half hours. Luckily, my wife and I have excellent health insurance through the university. However, I’m sure this is a huge, unnecessary expense that will have to be paid.

The collision knocked off my watch and broke it. My shirt was torn. My pants were shredded in several places. I even had holes knocked into my heavy socks, which I still find hard to believe. I have serious bruising on my left knee, right shoulder and neck, my right elbow, and my right thigh. Both of my hands and wrists are seriously bruised in addition to being cut.

Believe me, getting hit by a bicycle is no joke! It hurts like hell. I am 69 years old, but I am a large, sturdy person in very good health and physical condition. If this accident had happened to a smaller, less sturdy person, it might have caused very serious injuries or possibly death.

I urge all of you who walk on campus to be extremely vigilant about bicycles and skateboards from now on. The administration has allowed the campus to become very dangerous for pedestrians. As I tell people about my accident, I understand that there has been a steady stream of complaints lodged for years, yet the problem has been ignored far too long. If the bike that hit me had struck U President Michael Young, for example, things would change fast. At the very least, I recommend a strong campaign of information and signage to alert both cyclists and pedestrians to the rules of the road, or should I say sidewalk.