As a student walking on the sidewalks, I have lived a life of fear. You would think that for a pedestrian, cars are supposed to, you know, not come close to hitting you every day. UW-Madison, however, loves to incite fear in their pedestrians. I am scared. All the time. I cross the road now with eyes closed, all awareness of order gone. Cars drive on the sidewalks. Snow plows plow snow on the sidewalks. I cross the road and a bus comes inches from killing me.
On my first day of classes I tried crossing the road before the light said to walk; I thought I was safe, but you are never safe. Instantly there was a car nearly running into me. Somehow at the same time there were still other students crossing the road while cars drove past.
These days, I expect to be hit by a car. Pedestrians and cars have lost all sense of right and wrong. The lines between pedestrian and vehicle start to blur, humans and cars alike are on the sidewalks, on the roads.
I see cars on the sidewalks with their hazards on. I guess this makes driving on the sidewalk completely viable. Before getting hit by a car, I’ll see some dim flashing lights and understand that I’m at fault for not expecting a car to hit me on the sidewalk.
I survived being a pedestrian at UW-Madison. As someone prone to nearly being hit by cars, this is an amazing feat. I’m not even going to joke about getting my tuition paid. I am terrified.