Skateboarders unable to read minds

Skateboarders unable to read minds

Property Services have announced that they will release a new Cycling and Skateboard policy later this year, with the intention of addressing several areas of concern for campus users. The policy will include maps showing cycle routes, an update of the current “open” bike racks on campus, and possibly an update to markings and paving.

In addition the University’s Draft Travel Plan in support of sustainable travel options is also scheduled for approval later this year. This piece of policy is intended to outline the University’s commitment to sustainable travel options to and from campus.

Critic’s resident policy analyst suggests that both policies are good examples of the University’s fetish for devising, considering and passing as much policy as possible. “If policies were stray kittens the University would have a feline AIDS pandemic on their hands.”

However Generation Zero’s Lance Cash was more upbeat, telling Critic that the youth movement was excited to hear that the University would be addressing sustainable travel options. “We need to move towards a carbon zero future in order to combat climate change, and we will no doubt see increasing numbers of cyclists in the future. Generation Zero fully supports measures that encourage sustainable transport such as cycling and skating throughout the University, while still maintaining a safe environment for pedestrians.”

Cycling is viewed as the most realistic way to reduce the carbon cost of travel to and from the campus. However current infrastructure for cyclists is poor, with limited cycle lanes and concerns over the safety of those lanes located on the one-way system. Professor Hank Weiss, a regular cycle commuter and director of the Injury Prevention Research Unit, told the Otago Bulletin that “there is little or no evidence that bike lanes on roads like the one-ways reduce cyclist risk”.

On campus, both cycling and skateboarding are currently banned in the interests of pedestrian safety. However Resource Planner/Policy Advisor Katrina Roos stated in the Otago Bulletin “skaters perhaps don’t know this because all the signs pertain to cyclists.” Roos also stated that there had been repeated complaints about “near misses” involving skateboarders.

Critic interviewed several skateboarders, the least of whom were commerce students. None of the students spoken to were aware of the ban on skateboarding, with one student telling Critic that “the feeling of freedom I get while flying down Castle St on my longboard is the only reason I even go to my Tourism lectures. Sometimes I even get a little aroused and have to try to hide my erection while doing my best not to crash into someone. That would be awkward to explain to the Proctor.”
This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2012.
Posted 4:53pm Sunday 4th March 2012 by Gregor Whyte.