What gets your gears grinding on campus?

Andy Thigpen Life Editor

Do you ever see something on campus or in the community that just makes you wonder? You might think “Why?” or “What are they thinking?” or “If I was in charge, I would-” (insert profound and society-altering solution here).

Well, in the spirit of my past columns of trying to tastefully complain about things I think should be done differently in our area, I’d like to mention something that really-in the words of the perennial Mr. Griffin-“grinds my gears.”

Once upon a time, I took a 9 a.m. weight lifting class in Flowers Hall. On one occasion-just one, of course-I was running late. Driving up Wood Avenue, I casually turned down Circular Drive beside Wesleyan Hall, ignoring the four “No Left Turn” signs planted or strung around the intersection. Immediately after turning, the blue lights from a university police cruiser coming up Circular stopped me.

As we were both stopped in the middle of the road, the officer graciously explained the error of my ways by employing the age-old cop tradition of asking biting and stunningly witty rhetorical questions such as, “Do you know how many signs you passed? … Do you want me to write you a ticket?”

For the record, I wasn’t even speeding.

The officer let me go, but there’s not one time I turn left at that intersection that I don’t think about that morning. I haven’t done the research, but I ask the question, why can’t we turn left right there? What danger does it present? Especially when the lights are programmed for a left turn.

And also when everyone does it anyway.

In order to legally reach the Flowers Hall parking lot, the parking deck and all the prime parking on Circular Drive, responsible drivers must drive up to West Hawthorne Street, make a left on Sherrod Avenue and then another left back on Circular.

I’m aware this is only three blocks, and maybe this is senseless rambling. But have you tried to turn left onto Hawthorne from Wood Avenue between 8 to 10 a.m.? It’s tricky with no light or stop sign to control traffic.

Argument: The laws surrounding the intersection at Wood and Circular are senseless and unforgivably frustrating.

Admission: Anyone in the community can easily find out what the deal is by calling the City of Florence Street Department, and I haven’t done that. I’m just doing a little public ranting.

I’d like to propose another question: What do you, reader, see around campus or in the city that doesn’t make sense, that bothers you, or that just gets your gears grinding?

Ask me, and I will try to console you with sarcasm while attempting to find the reasons why the problem is there. If I can’t, I’ll make something up.

My email is up there above my face. Give me a shout. I’ll shout back.

To contact Andy, call 256-765-5233 or follow him on Twitter at @TheFlorAndy.