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Sidewalks for all

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 10, 2007

As a frequent walker on the beautiful campus of Notre Dame, I cannot help but respond to both Dan McInnis (“Rights of the sidewalk,” Oct. 8) and Mike Swadener (“Pay attention and keep to the right,” Oct. 10). Sidewalks, defined as a paved walk for pedestrians at the side of a street, have no right or wrong side to walk on. There are no one-way signs posted, traffic signals or stop signs installed for people to abide by when walking on a sidewalk. These rules apply to streets, highways and roads. Crosswalks, defined as specially paved or marked paths for pedestrians crossing a street or road, are not sidewalks. Therefore Mike Swadener’s comment referring to a citation about “crosswalks” is incorrect.

More importantly, there are many people using the sidewalks at Notre Dame for various purposes. You have walkers, joggers, those whipping past on a bike, skateboarders weaving in and out, roller-bladers zig-zagging in every direction, electric scooters zipping past, baby strollers and dog walkers. How can anyone possibly say there is a right side to walk on when strolling on the sidewalk?

For a University student to boast and brag about his deliberate rudeness to another student not only shows his ignorance, it demonstrates his immaturity as an adult. I can only hope this individual is part of a small minority of the student body at Notre Dame.

The sidewalks on campus are not about right or wrong ways to walk on; they are not about gender issues; they are there for everyone to enjoy and respect.

Kathi Piekarski

South Bend

Oct. 10