Question: how many times have you been walking around campus, and all of a sudden, the sound of the click-clack of wheels comes up behind you? My guess is probably a lot.
It’s no secret that the use of bikes and skateboards is prevalent on Tulane’s campus. It’s also no secret that the mix of pedestrians and bikers moving down McAlister often leads to some tension. We’re all trying to get to class on time, after all.
This combination doesn’t really lead to a cohesive environment. Pedestrians are constantly waiting for a funny bike accident, and bikers are just hoping that they can make it to class without any injuries or dirty looks. While minor accidents aren’t that common, dirty looks are definitely a daily, if not hourly, occurrence.
Tulane has been trying to make the campus more pedestrian-friendly, starting with the construction on McAlister a few years ago. That was definitely a step in the right direction; we’re technically a “city school,” even though it doesn’t really feel like it. Blocking off traffic at Freret and McAlister and adding an extension at the other end was just what the school needed to give it more of a campus-feel. What the administration needs to aim for now is making the campus more biker-friendly, as well. By blocking off small lanes on all the major “roads” – McAlister, the academic quad, LBC Quad and Newcomb – they’d be eliminating a lot of the tension that students face when they’re simply trying to get around campus.