Culture

The Faces of Claremont Pedestrians

Written by Sasha Rivera

By Sasha Rivera SCR ’19

You’ve wanted to run them over, too. Like most pesky law-abiding institutions, The Claremont Colleges have campuses that cater more towards pedestrians rather than drivers; for students who commute, this can pose many problems. Now, if all the skateboarders, bicyclists, and people walking exhibited self-awareness and common courtesy, getting to class would be a much smoother experience for all students. Unfortunately, the 5C’s are home to many student pedestrian stereotypes who do everything in their power to increase traffic and put themselves in danger. These are the faces of Claremont pedestrians.

Panic! At the Street

Despite this erratic behavior usually only displayed by squirrels, there are some 5C students who have taken it upon themselves to also nervously panic in the middle of the road as soon as they notice a car. They will calmly begin crossing the street, but instead of hurrying up when they notice you waiting for them in your vehicle, they will instead stop and anxiously scurry. Looking back and forth, these squirrel-like students will be unable to decide if they should go back or keep going. Unfortunately, this causes them to go into a state of shock due to the stress of sudden decision-making. The entire process takes about ten minutes even if you have been waving at them to keep going, as they’re just as likely to be waving at you to run them over. This can occur in the middle of the road if the student is jaywalking, or even at a crosswalk with a stop sign.

Sk8er Bro

These students are the ultimate chaotic evil in Claremont. They ooze entitlement as they swerve through the streets, ignoring all traffic laws. Does it matter that in the state of California it is illegal to ride a skateboard in the middle of a public roadway? Not when you are a white boy from Claremont McKenna College with a very wealthy father; laws don’t apply to you! Sure, there is a perfectly good sidewalk and even a clear bike lane right nearby, but alas using either does not allow for the proper expression of privilege. These villainous bros will always make sure to skate extra slowly during high traffic periods on 6th street, especially if there is a line of cars behind them. And if you dare to honk at them for breaking the law and taking up space? Well, they will be sure to smirk right at you and throw up an obnoxious peace sign before taking their sweet time to move maybe a foot over.

Jaywalk’s Place

Many Claremont students are phenomenal activists. Some however take this activism and rebellion against rules to a level beyond typical social justice issues. Putting oneself in danger is the ultimate way to oppose “The Man” and on a college campus, the easiest way to accomplish this as a pedestrian is by opposing crosswalks. Even if the crosswalk is just five feet away, it is a symbol of a governmental system of discipline, therefore these rebels must ignore it at all cost. But, fighting the system isn’t the sole reason for jaywalking. The 5C’s are very pricey schools, and the tuition costs can leave many students in debt. Therefore, a classic sneak tactic to have tuition paid off is to pop out at the last minute from behind a parked car right before jaywalking. Looking both ways first is forbidden, of course. This gives any drivers exactly two seconds to hit their brakes or the jaywalker. If the jaywalking student survives, their craftiness pays off their school debts.  You have to admire their risk-taking.

Mean Girls

While these folks aren’t all necessarily girls, they definitely have the same attitudes as this movie character trope. Like Panic!, they will stop in the middle of the street as soon as they notice your car, whether they are jaywalking or you are simply following the law and pausing at a stop sign. Unlike Panic!, however, rather than anxiously scurrying, they will stare you down, glaring at you with a look of utmost disgust. How dare you have the audacity to drive a car on their campus? How dare you let your disgusting vehicle come within a mile of their presence? And if you indicate that you want them to hurry up and cross rather than trying to assert their dominance at 12:55 pm on a Wednesday afternoon? Well, you have officially become the scum of the earth and they will make sure to write a very angry blog post later in their Burn Book.

Stay in Your Lane

Bike lane? Don’t know her. Despite what the category name may imply, these people do the exact opposite. I am referring to the bicyclists who wish to rebel against societal constructs (and civil engineers) by taking up space in ALL of the lanes. These bicyclists are living their Mariah Carey fantasies in the most dangerous ways. The bike lane must be deconstructed and ignored as a true radical statement. Moreover, these anarchists on wheels often take it a step further by ignoring all road laws. While there are a decent few who acknowledge that hand signals and stop signs exist for safety reasons, many would prefer to live dangerously. Drake famously said “YOLO,” so that means when riding a bicycle, you must never indicate which direction you are about to turn or wait your turn at a stop sign. That would take the fun away from all drivers!

Image Credit: VideoBlocks

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