to Civility and Safety
write in full support of Jerry
Briggs' letter expressing concern about the high speed bicycle
and rollerblade raceway that has developed across Blanche Levy Park.
And while I am confident that the University Police are diligent
in attempting to stop those who they see speeding across the campus,
the fact of the matter is that the culture of speed (and incivility)
is so well-intrenched among many bicyclists at Penn that whenever
police officers are not present (which is, understandably, most
of the time) bicyclists race across the area with reckless abandon.
I cross Blanche Levy Park several times a day in the course of my
business, and I am constantly dodging high speed bicyclists and
rollerbladers. Until we are successful in creating among all members
of our campus community a more deeply-rooted understanding that
bicycling along pedestrian walkways is not permitted, we will always
be dodging cyclists and roller bladers, risking injury in the process.
a resident of Logan Hall who often crosses from that building
to College Hall and Houston Hall, I have noticed yet another
offense to civility and safety, and that is the extent to which
the overwhelmingly hard-surfaced Wynn Commons has become an
alternative to Love Park for skateboarders, mountain bikers,
and rollerbladers. In addition to defacing the area, those activities
also pose a significant danger to passers-by.
this may surprise those who know me as a mild-mannered, meek
individual who rarely speaks his mind, I have on occasion attempted
to stop these activities, with the results in some cases leading
to something just short of physical violence.
I suspect that the answer is not more University police, but
a clearer understanding on the part of all of those on our campus
about what is appropriate and what is not.
Richard R. Beeman,Professor
of the College
Rambo's response to "Bicyclists vs. Pedestrians" (Almanac
7) denies the obvious. Anyone who walks across campus daily
is aware of the continuing, flagrant violations by bicyclists, both
on the campus walks during prime hours and on the sidewalks around
the University at all hours. I dodge bicycles daily while walking
between the bus stop and my building, and in nearly 20 years of
working on campus, I've never seen a bicyclist stopped or reprimanded
by a University officer. In fact, the University's bicycle-mounted
police themselves ride on the sidewalks; a few months ago, when
I was feeling especially vulnerable with a broken wrist, one such
mountee pedaled undeterred straight at me, despite my highly visible
cast, requiring me to step aside to let him pass!
most offensive are the bicyclists who ride full-tilt, standing
up, down the sidewalk outside the Spruce Street entrance to
HUP--an entrance used not only by ill and disabled people but
also by emergency vehicles unloading patients on stretchers!
Using blue light phones to report violators is pointless, as
they will of course be long-gone before any officer could possibly
arrive to "manage the situation." Mr. Rambo, more needs to be
done to control violating bicyclists, whether by the Penn Police
or in cooperation with the City. This remains a serious problem.
Director, Institute for Law and Economics
welcomes reader contributions. Short, timely letters on University
issues will be accepted by Thursday at noon for the following Tuesday's
issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. Advance notice of intention
to submit is appreciated. --Eds.
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 34, May 21, 2002
May 21, 2002
Volume 48 Number 34