Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear students waiting for the shuttle,

Last year the university built a bus stop for you. It's the Cadillac of bus stops -- very large with benches and a button to press for heat. It has a roof and four glass walls that go all the way to the ground. It's nicer than the stops at the long-term parking lots at airports. And your shuttle, the one that carries you from the main part of campus to the hinterlands of stadium parking, looks very nice, too. Definitely nicer than the airport shuttle that possibly participates in Monster Bus Rallies on the weekends in Southern Indiana. Although sometimes you are stuck riding the city bus to the stadium and not the fancy shuttle.

Right now no one is standing there because the shuttle just came.

I want to say this shelter cost something like $500,000, although now I can't find the information and that may have been for more than one shelter. Maybe it was $50,000. But still, it has a roof and benches and open space between the benches yet still under the roof. Use it instead of crowding along the sidewalk  in front of the perfectly good shelter when the shuttle isn't even there yet, and stop blocking the sidewalk for people who have to walk another block to the city bus stop that has no heat and that does not protect against the elements because it only has walls on on three sides, walls that don't reach all the way to the ground, is not fully enclosed like yours, and only holds four or five people comfortably. Which in the rules of public personal space means there are only ever two people inside the shelter.

Why do you pay to park at the stadium anyway when you still have to ride a bus/shuttle? You could just take the city bus and save the parking permit. I understand that parking is at a premium. During college I drove 8 miles to school in traffic both ways, no matter what the time of day. After that, I selected graduate schools that were pedestrian friendly and had a plethora of housing options for students who didn't mind over-priced yet under-inspected apartments. And I walked. Or took the bus for free with my student id. Even today I walked over 2 miles by 9:30 and that was just to go to the doctor and then get to the bus stop to get me to work. I had to run across the street against the light to catch the bus. I sat behind a woman whose music I could hear even though she had earbuds on. I thought at first my iPod was playing in my purse even though the music didn't sound familiar.

Some of your peers were on the bus, talking on their cell phones or cramming for their exams. Then they crowded at the crosswalk without pushing the button and darted across the street in front of oncoming traffic when the Walk sign never showed up. You have to push the button. I know, it makes no sense that this high traffic area between the dorms, cafeteria, and academic buildings does not have automatic triggers for the lights. Maybe it's a test for college. If the light is not red, push it. Or at least get out of the way.

Thank you.

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