At first glance, it may seem like the bicycle debate at USC is unnecessary.
However, if one takes the time to stop and think, one realizes that this dilemma affects the day-to-day life of every student here. Having all been made late by bike congestion and seen or been part of a bike collision at least once, most of us can see why new rules regulating the use of bikes on campus are needed.
For the first time, however, USC has also included the potential danger of skateboards in the bike safety discussion. For the first time, skateboarders aren’t just getting the pedestrian treatment—they now have to walk their skateboards wherever students have to walk their bikes.
Sure, skateboarders may go a bit slower than bikes while on campus. However, the fact that that the only breaks are the strength and good timing of the rider make them even more dangerous. Plus, they are more difficult to steer, making weaving in and out of people all the more dangerous.
Skateboard accidents also have a greater risk of injury to the rider. When you get into a bike accident, you fall off your bike. It may hurt, it may cause some damage, but chances are that you managed to slow down at least a little to lessen the blow.
On a skateboard, however, you can fly off from impact with a mere pine cone. The security of a brake system doesn’t even apply.
It also does not help that copious amounts of boarders think that Trousdale is the site of the next X Games. Attempting to land tricks or rush speedily to class puts everyone in danger.
Skateboarders need to remember that they are not pedestrians. Their mode of transportation puts them in the same sphere as bicycle riders, and those walking on campus need to be protected by this potentially dangerous form of transportation.
As long as skateboarders adhere to the new rules, and walk their skateboards along side their bicycle-riding peers, then congestion and harmful accidents on campus can be avoided.