EDITORIAL: State, Normal streets reduced to brisk jog

Editorial Cartoon for Tuesday, Oct. 15

Herald Staff

THE ISSUE: WKU reduced the speed limit on portions of State and Normal streets to 15 mph in July. WKU did so after receiving a recommendation from Arnold Consulting Engineering Services, a Bowling Green Civil Engineering Firm.

OUR STANCE: This reduction was unnecessary. We understand that the previous driving conditions might be unsafe, but the problem has never been the speed of the cars.

So, it turns out that college students don’t know how to drive.

We guess that’s not really news to anyone considering the high insurance costs associated with being a young adult driver and the staggering number of accidents we tend to get in each year, especially if you’re male.

What can we say? We got that need for speed.

But simply dealing with our accidents and driving blunders has run its course at WKU.

Now it’s time we pay the price.

This summer, WKU changed the speed limit on State and Normal streets to 15 mph.

Shortly after the change was made in July, Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said that this change would make WKU’s campus safer.

“It’s going to take awhile for drivers to get used to the change, but the pedestrians should feel safer crossing the road,” she said.

Well, it’s mid-October, and we are still not used to the snail’s pace.

Nor do we feel particularly safer as pedestrians.

The real problem with the speed limit change is that it doesn’t tackle the root of the problem: cars aren’t stopping for pedestrians in cross walks.

And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s probably because the driver is too busy texting or checking Twitter to pay attention to the road.

The only thing a speed limit change accomplishes is that it adds speeding to the list of ticketed offenses when that inevitable collision occurs.

WKU needs to find a way to fix that problem instead of inconveniencing commuters and other campus traffic.

Have you driven up the Hill at 15 mph?

There is a small urge to cut out the bottom of our cars and just Flintstone our way up the Hill. At least it would give us an excuse to feel like we’ve traded our cars for motorized scooters.

I’ve seen small children run faster while playing tag.

OK, that’s an exaggeration, but as one trudges up State Street, it feels as though the car is just going to give up and roll backward down the incline.

You can probably sense that we at the Herald are more than a little perturbed.

Those roads are just not meant for 15 mph. Heck, most roads aren’t meant for that speed limit.

So WKU students, put down your phones while driving.

And for the love of Big Red, just look both ways before crossing the street.

There, problem solved. Now raise the speed limit back to 25 mph.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 9-member editorial board.