It’s Friday night, and you are all dressed up and ready to go downtown to the bars and socialize with your fellow Coyotes.
The first decision, and perhaps the most important, is whether or not to drive and park downtown.
While walking to and from one’s residential area raises questions of safety, driving is nearly impossible because it is ultimately illegal to park downtown between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m. – which could possibly encourage drunk driving if people don’t plan ahead and either sober up or get a ride from a friend.
Now, this may seem like a stretch, but think about it. You avoid the dangers of walking downtown by driving, and then you head in to the bars to enjoy your evening, but have to remember to move your car.
Anyone who has spent a night on the town knows there is a very good chance you drink more than you should, and as D.A.R.E. has always told us, drinking and driving is illegal and can lead to all sorts of bad outcomes.
As someone of age and who occasionally enjoys a night out with my friends, it’s truly a hassle to plan out what to do with my car.
The simple solution? Just walk – but this poses dangers of its own. Vermillion is by no means is a danger-infested town, however in the past three years I’ve been here, there have been assaults (sexual and physical), break ins and people getting jumped – three great reasons to carry pepper spray with me.
So my other option is to get a ride with someone or drive myself.
Say I choose the latter and drive my car. I find a great spot next to my favorite bar and join my friends for a casual drink.
Maybe it turns into more, maybe it doesn’t, but I am the sort of drinker one would deem paranoid and would feel uncomfortable driving my vehicle after one drink. In turn, I end up getting a ride home from a friend or the City’s transportation bus, otherwise known as the drunk bus, and I get home safely and fall asleep to Netflix – great night right? Wrong.
My car is parked in an area with a restriction of a four hour period that normal people sleep through, where I have a high chance of getting ticketed or towed. I’d rather not spend the next day finding my car and figuring out why in the world I got ticketed for making a responsible choice.
I’m not even sure why that sign is there.
Is the sign placed there to refrain from overcrowding?
Because if the party doesn’t start until after 2 a.m., I’ve been doing college all wrong.
Kidding aside, I cannot find a legitimate reason why this is a needed traffic regulation. No Google search or racking my brain has resulted in a solution.
However, in conversation I’ve discovered some cities use this time period to clean the streets. If this is true in Vermillion, do they do this every night? Just on weekends? What exactly is the need for these signs.
Let’s take a step back.
What if I’m not drinking and simply want to hang out with my friends downtown or at an event? I still have the annoying responsibility in my head reminding myself to move my car in time.
It’s a small issue, but it leaves unanswered questions and potential risks for those choosing to drive downtown.
All I’m saying taking away the sign can leave students feeling safer and more willing to make the trip downtown and enjoy the nightlife.