The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
As much as we beam with pride over our picturesque campus, the moment we get behind the wheel, all inspiration for Instagram captions is lost. When driving around campus, the oranges and reds of the Western trees seem to fade, the brick buildings turn into giant obtrusive obstacles and we’re seriously cursing that one
Robert Frost quote.
When we’re running behind and frantically searching for a parking spot, the narrow roads and random traffic pile-ups and hectic crosswalks put a dark tint on the so-called beauty of Oxford. We circle around stacked lines at stop signs as what should be a three-minute trip turns into being 10 minutes late for class.
There’s also the daily battle of car versus human at any major intersection. Normal traffic patterns somehow enter into an alternate universe when it comes to places like Patterson Avenue.
No matter the color of the stoplight, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever make it past the flood of backpack-wearing walkers.
When we’re driving, students are no longer our beloved peers, but slow-moving idiotic blurs of people that constantly get in our path. Sure, we’ll let one or two of you cross the street, but then you ought not push your luck. This inevitably leads to some stragglers darting out as soon as we move our foot from the brake to the pedal. We glare at you and make exasperated flares with our hands saying, “Hey, watch out, I’m in a car!”
But all we can do is daydream about teleporting as you ignorantly dodge the fronts of our cars. Let’s just say we’ve had way too many close calls.
So, yes, driving on campus is a blend of frustration and inefficiency that causes more headaches than any Economics exam we’ve ever taken.
One of the major conundrums is the process of parking. When the subject comes up, the Editorial Staff can’t help but cry in agony. Even if you fork over hundreds of dollars for a suitable parking pass or give up a small fortune in coins each day, parking on campus is akin to eternally not getting the last piece of pie on Thanksgiving.
And, more often than not, you won’t have any quarters or you won’t see the sign and you’ll walk out to your car only to see the worst sight of them all. Your heart drops as you grab that thin piece of paper fluttering under the weight of your windshield wiper.
Driving adds complications to getting around campus when you’re walking or biking, too. When you’re walking from point A to point B on campus, there’s no sense in patience for waiting for cars to go by. You clearly have the right of way, can’t they see the crosswalk?
So we implement the “walk first, look second” mentality, which doesn’t exactly match what we were told as youngsters, but it gets us across the street.
Sure, all of this could be seen as a meritless list of complaints – but it comes back to the fact that Miami was not meant to be a driving campus. It’s nowhere in our founding principles, as evidenced by the serious lack of parking. So when we continue to hop in the car to drive to class, we’re trying to make Miami something it’s not.
The everyday dangers and frustrations of driving on campus are not something to be ignored – they’re bound to lead to a moment that is no longer a joking matter. And we need to start seeing it that way.
So here’s one idea. Let’s stop driving on campus like we’re playing Crazy Taxi. Or we could just stop driving on campus altogether, because it makes us sad. When we drive, we zip past the beauty of this campus and we don’t even get a chance to Snapchat a photo of that weird squirrel. A 20-minute walk or figuring out the bus schedule may sound daunting, but these are far better options than what awaits us when we drive around campus.