Column: An ode to the Stevenson crosswalk

Shelby Niehaus, Copy Editor

Oh, crosswalk. Oh, lone busy intersection and bustling center of student activity. Oh, ye connection between the manna of the North Quad, the arena of strength and speed, the home of our electric carriages, and the living spaces of haggard pupils and scholars.

Praises be to your well-worn white-black patterned footpath, your vista on the echoing courtyard, your place as a vein leading into the pumping heart of campus activity. Your crosswalk signs, which stave off the progression of carriages bearing commerce and merchants into the city proper, shall ever be engrained in our minds, a beacon of security in the wasteland between McAfee and Stevenson.

But hark! Lone traveler caught in the white-black footpath! See how the carriage, long paused in awaiting the conveyance of youth to and fro between their abodes and their studies, begins to grumble and advance!

Alack, for the lone traveler achieves not the curb, nor still the opposite lane before the carriage rolls by, consuming a path designed by higher minds for two-wheeled carriages in its journey. The lone traveler spins, hands upwards, palms flat to the heavens, as the jet-colored carriage continues by, jockey ignorant of the traveler’s being and, therefore, the traveler’s outrage.

Sing your outrage to the skies, traveler. Jockey and carriage, hastened forth by forces which cannot be known to man, to beast, to gods above, lives in violation of law and order, set forth in order to protect the innocent and unarmored, the carriageless, the inhabitant, from the quick and fatal motions of a city in its daily proceedings.

So sayeth our authority, the EIU Police Department, “pedestrians have the right of way at all crosswalks,” and yea, verily! so commonly have travelers been safe from carriages at the passage. So commonly as well, alas, have we been frightened at the evening prospect of summiting the westernmost province of our fair abode. Mournful Selene illumines the path but weakly; Helios offers protection to the voyage, but the jockey and carriage scorn our passage regardless.

Take heed, jockey! Take heed, carriage! For your near-missed traveler may one day be magistrate of your flock, take care that you appease all travelers who mount the white-black footpath. Ensure that your carriage lumbers not into the checked corridor as scholars are conveyed from towers and places of knowledge.

And take heed, too, State of Illinois– ye whose laws regulate not those jockeys and carriages who appear opposite the traveler! Speak, magistrates, speak among your ilk and bestow upon your peons new legislature decreeing that carriages shall not advance at all in the presence of travelers within the boundaries set by yellow signage and twinkling lights. Look not for reasoning in your ungrounded theories; check instead pages distributed by village criers, pages full of new and awesome happenings: “Traveler struck by carriage,” a mere solar cycle ago in our beautiful kingdom.

And traveler– to you who would voyage beyond the boundaries of McAfee, or you who reside in the west– be aware, be awake! Defend your person from the onslaught of carriages!

Shelby Niehaus is a junior English language arts major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].