Bikers should be more cautious in pedestrian areas of campus

The University of MinnesotaâÄôs newest efforts to crack down on bikers who ride in the âÄúDismountâÄù areas and pedestrians who step onto streets in spots other than crosswalks surely has made many on both sides point fingers at each other like little children who argue with each other just because they like to.

As a disgruntled pedestrian and concerned biker, I see many of my fellow bikers completely missing the point: Bike riding on campus is a privilege, not a right. The special lanes on the roads are there to let bikers know just where you can legally ride on the street.

On the street, you are regarded as a vehicle by the University and city police. You are subject to the same laws in regard to speeding, running through red lights or stop signs, not yielding to pedestrians or vehicles who have the right-of-way, or hitting a pedestrian or another biker. Anywhere else, youâÄôd be cited or prosecuted or both.

Why is it that being on University grounds gives you the crazy idea that you can just disregard the local street laws that are enforced elsewhere? Would you drive your pickup truck or mo-ped on the grass in the Mall area or into Coffman Union? Riding around like you own the place is the non-motorized equivalent.

If too many of you continue to violate laws and University rules, you may succeed at getting all bike riding banned on University grounds. On a personal note: Twenty of you bikers have almost hit me since IâÄôve started attending classes here. How would it feel if roles were reversed, and you were a pedestrian who almost gets hit by a biker? Not so good. Get your eyes, ears and mind on the road where they belong.