With UCF’s campus being so grandly sprawling, it is no wonder that many students have picked up methods of transportation besides walking to get from point A to point B more quickly. With so many options around, getting to class can sometimes seem more like an obstacle course rather than a simple walk.
With this fact in mind, KnightNews.com is here to help, providing a pedestrian hierarchy of sorts to assist in safer campus travels. This guide will be especially useful if you or anyone you know has been plowed over by a skateboarder or nearly killed by an unaware oncoming bicyclist.
At the top of the pecking order are motorized vehicles, and at the bottom are unvehicularized pedestrians (unless you count legs), with a few levels in between, including but not limited to the aforementioned bicycle and skateboard, and that one kid with the motorized skateboard, and maybe Segways.
In a university so large, it is a cold hard fact that one will walk into a car at some point, whether on purpose or due to being completely unaware that cars (actual cars) are driving on the sidewalk being used. Even if these cars are not within jurisdiction, they outrank the humble pedestrian (all of us) in that being hit by one is not fun, and that injury sustained, if any, will completely fall on the person, not the driver.
Cars and trucks are a somewhat of a rarity on sidewalks, and usually stick to asphalt territory, but the occasional visitor may occur. In this case, move, because if hit, you will lose.
More common are tractor-type trailer…things, that roar into earshot before they approach you, giving you ample time to run away in fear. If you don’t hear it, the smell of burning gasoline will alert you to its presence, and hopefully there is enough time to flee.
The worst of this category, however, is smaller than either of these, and strike fear into pedestrians everywhere. Golf carts, also called death on wheels, are a silent attacker, hiding in the shadows in complete silence, waiting to scare the earphone-laden street walker (not that kind) out their way. They’re asphalt-amphibious, and thus you can expect to be run over in the street or on the sidewalk. Surviving a golf cart in the wild means that you best keep your wits about you, or else you’ll be the equivalent of a human size bug on its windshield.
People with welded pieces of metal and pedals place second on this list, if only because their appendage can easily take more than one person down in the event of a collision. As humble persons on foot, we should avoid them, because getting in their way is far from fun. Personal experience aside, if the rider is going unnecessarily fast, you may or may not want to get out their way, as that speed probably gives very little time to swerve, or you could sacrifice yourself and cause some potential “OUCH” moments and cruel laughter from people watching the travesty unfurl.
There are many, many types of skateboarders and it would be best if you avoided them all. The trick boarders are okay, but don’t get in their way when their face hits concrete as they attempt jumping the stairs in the Psychology building (and don’t laugh if they epic fail, either).
Longboarders are even more common than trick boarders and as a result, have many subclasses. There’s the people with surfboards on wheels (boards so long you could fashion a small canoe out of it) who are more of a hazard tugging the thing around in between classes rather than when they’re on it, there are the nice ones that swerve to avoid people, and there are the ones that veer close enough to push you over physically, unaided rather than run you down.
Feel free to do whatever you see necessary to protect yourself from the douchier of boarders, but stay aware when one is coming. That’s what the cracks in the concrete are for, after all.
These guys number in about 10 for the whole campus, but they can pick up pretty high speeds and you could sustain some damage if you don’t step aside. If you didn’t move though, the damage would be about the same as falling onto concrete unaided.
It’s pretty safe to say that anyone with added large chunks of metal or fiberglass or wood should be avoided, as that’s just a weapon that hasn’t been weaponized yet.
Good Old Fashioned Pedestrians
At the very bottom of this list is the lowly pedestrian, unaided in his or her traverse across UCF’s enormous campus. Easy target though we may be, there are still classes of pedestrians that outrank others.
For instance, the highest ranking one moves out the way in the presence of imminent danger. Because of their level of hierarchical awareness, these folks should never be hit, out of respect.
Then there are those laden with distractions, ranging anywhere from noses buried in a text message to being very engrossed in a phone call, or deafened by music blasting directly into their ears.
If walking around campus was a video game, then the pedestrians that flock in large, sidewalk-hogging groups would be the boss at the end of each level, and your goal would be getting around the group scratch free, and the earbud or cell phone laden others would be hired henchmen that you’d kill to level up faster.
If they don’t move after ample warning (a bike bell, the sound of skateboard wheels hitting cracks in the payment, yelling in rage, etc.), then it is their fault if they get hit, and should not complain otherwise. There are sometimes combinations of any of the listed, like a biker and a boarder, a walker and a roller blader, or anything else. Since this is a pair, either go after both or leave both alone, sort of like a package deal, where instead of getting something awesome, you are potentially late to your next class.
Points of Interest
• Distraction is a universal concept. If there is a texting bike rider or call-taking skateboarder or any other vehicularized pedestrian unaware of their surroundings, they are at fault if an accident happens. If you need to multitask, it’s just best if you pull over and then go about your business again.
• Blasting music makes everyone a target. Just to be safe, it makes sense to keep your music just under a deafening roar.
• Throw things at Segways so their riders get the hint of how ridiculous they look.
• And lastly, stay safe. It’s one thing to joke around and say “TEN POINTS IF I RUN THAT PERSON OVER” every time you see somebody that would be an easy target, but don’t go around plowing people over. (This is the disclaimer folks, also known as “Don’t try this at home”)