Cheating death: a guide to navigating the sidewalks at Brown

Life’s tough when you need to ice skate to your 9:00 AM class, and nearly have a concussion from that almost-slip on the way to Pembroke. Despite the best efforts from the Facilities Management staff, Mother Nature has gotten the last laugh this winter, plaguing Providence with fickle rise and drops in temperature and the always-joyful greeting of wintry mix. Various Brown forums have spotted EMS escorting students off of the ice traps and into the safety of the ambulances. Luckily, the groundhog gave spring the nod, and we’re already seeing specks of green dotting the layers of white snow.

But don’t let your guard down. Here are some suggestions drawn up by Margaret Klawunn, and edited by a concerned student (aka. me):

  • Break out the heavy snow boots or the Hunters. Maybe you won’t be fashionable for a few months, but nothing’s harder to accessorize with than a broken limb.
  • Don’t run to class, even if you woke up at 8:45 for your 9:00 AM. Take shorts steps and walk slowly, in case the ice plants a sneak attack on you. Beware of black ice: it is your worst enemy. Hard to see, but always there.
  • Avoid walking in the street unless the sidewalk is just simply a sheet of ice with EMS written all over it. If walking on the street, walk against traffic and as close to the curb as possible. Always be aware of your surroundings and passing cars, especially those that may have lost control of their steering.
  • If visibility during the day can be difficult, imagine at night for a driver. Wear bright clothing (à la SafeWalk) to ensure that you’re not mistaken for road kill.
  • The snow causes the sun to shine absurdly brightly, so to guarantee visibility, wear sunglasses during the day to avoid hazards.
  • Be aware of falling ice and snow from roofs. Icicles become a deadly weapon, causing some not-so-heroic injuries and potentially serious wounds. Those of you that have dodged falling icicles from the SciLi, propelled by good ol’ gravity, already know about this.

If you notice any particularly unsafe areas around campus, don’t hesitate to report them to Facilities Management at 863-7800. No one wants to be that person spotted at Brown on the EMS truck.

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