OPINION: Five things you should know about MHK summer traffic

When students leave for the summer, traffic in Manhattan changes with less cars on the road. Cars speed through the intersection of Anderson Avenue and 17th Street during what would normally be a time of high traffic on the afternoon of June 4, 2019. (Rachel Hogan | Collegian Media Group)

Students staying in town over the summer will notice significant changes to the traffic patterns around town. You’d think that fewer people around town would mean fewer problems, but this is life, nothing is that easy, and you should know that by now.

1. Welcome to construction chaos.

Oh, you’re used to getting somewhere a certain way? Too bad. All your regular routes are going to be torn to shreds as the city gets to working on the roads this summer. This is often the first obstacle that summer residents run into, and for me, the first thing that made me wish I’d gone home. The problem is that construction chaos is just a given this time of year, and not even going home will save you now.

2. There’s a marathon course directly in your way.

It doesn’t matter where you’re going, when you’re going there or how hard you try to avoid it, the weekend warriors are freed to jog all over town now that the students are gone. They have an uncanny ability to intersect your daily commute in the most inconvenient way possible, and they only seem to be there when you’re running late. Be wary of their presence and always have an alternative route in mind.

3. There’s large amounts of people wandering around inexplicably.

K-State hosts plenty of summer camps and activities that keeps our campus busting all year round. There’s no rest for the wicked, and yes, that applies to you. From now on, expect to see packs of people in matching T-shirts wandering around Manhattan like it’s the world’s most disappointing theme park. What does that mean for driving? You’ll have plenty of school busses to contend with and a seemingly endless stream of hyperactive children and sweating chaperones trying to cross the street at the same time.

4 You’re probably going to get pulled over.

I would argue that you’re actually more likely to get pulled over now. With fewer people out and about, the police will have nothing better to do than pull you over for going about six miles over the speed limit on Anderson. If you dare to be out later than midnight on a summer drive, and the road seems deserted, stick to the posted speed limit like glue unless you want an uncomfortable conversation with the local boys in blue.

5. Parking spots… exist now?

Going down to The Ville is often easier said than done during the school year, but now, you’re free to park where you please. There’s even easy spots on campus for those in classes to leave their cars and bikes. It’s a whole new world out there for students, and it almost makes braving the droves of camp kids and cops worth driving your car.

The best way to get around this summer is to stay informed and stay safe. Knowing what is going on around town will help you plan and get where you need to be on time. Or just don’t go anywhere or do anything, which is what the summer is really for.

Leah Zimmerli is the community editor for the Collegian and a sophomore in mass communications and political science. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

Hi there! I’m Leah Zimmerli, community desk co-editor, relentless optimist, and lover of big and small dogs. I’m a junior in political science and journalism from Overland Park, Kansas. I hope to bring you pieces that challenge you, that broaden your mindset, and help you learn more about your K-State community.