Drivers need patience in U traffic

By By Brandon Beifuss

In the past month, 22 traffic reports have been filed in the U area, according to CrimeReports.com, a website that bears the seal of8212;and reports to8212;Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

Chris Schmiett, an undecided junior and shuttle passenger, almost witnessed the 23rd report when a U shuttle and car had a noteworthy incident on campus.

“Any smaller and they would have collided,” Schmiett said. “The one car decided it wasn’t going to give (the U shuttle) the right of way, but the bus had already started moving.” If it had been anyone other than a professional bus driver, the situation could have read differently, but the incident wasn’t over after the near-miss. Schmiett said the conflict ended as an expletive-full shouting match between the two drivers.

The mental pressures are visible all around campus, from the alteration to Central Campus Drive to the resurfacing of Foothill Drive on the weekends to the deconstruction of the upper end of the HPER Highway and the partial demolition of the parking lot. It is obvious that construction has taken a toll on the psyche of commuters and residents alike.
“It’s a nightmare,” Schmiett said.

The Department of Commuter Services and/or the Associated Students of the University of Utah should more thoroughly promote safety in and around the U, especially around the numerous construction sites, prior to the coming winter.

This appeal needs to target every U driver, as it is the individual impatient driving habits mixed with far-less-than-favorable road conditions that boil over, culminating in incidents such as the one Schmiett witnessed.

Director of Commuter Services Alma Allred said, “People have done things that are not very judicious,” commenting on past traffic incidents. The mindset of U drivers must be changed, because the construction will not end overnight, and winter hasn’t even hit yet. Conditions are only likely to worsen, which is why the change must come from the drivers. The alternative is more frivolous blips on the U map on CrimeReports.com.

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