To those of you who drive to the Academy, and especially those who park in the south parking lot: there is a need to be extra cautious when walking to and from your car.

As you exit the rotunda and head down the sidewalk toward the parking area, many of us will stop at the edge of the sidewalk (Right in front of the first row of cars, which are facing the building.) to “refresh” our memories as to where the heck we parked our car. Still with heads in the air and looking out into the parking area, we step off the sidewalk without noticing that about a foot or two away from the curb are ankle-high concrete barriers stretching nearly the width of the parking spot, placed there to keep people from pulling all the way up to the curb and, in the process, blocking the sidewalk with the overhanging front end of their vehicles. And herein lies the danger.

There have been at least two instances when one of our students has stepped off the curb, taken a step and then has tripped over the concrete barrier. In one case a couple of weeks ago, it all happened so suddenly that the unfortunate  LLA student  had no time to even attempt to break his fall and landed face down on the asphalt. He suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose, a grape-fruit-size “road-rash” on his right knee, and similar abrasions on his hands. Needless to say, he was badly shaken up, but after a few minutes, insisted that he was all right to drive. And so off he went, “Bloody but unbowed.”

We have asked USF to paint those barriers a bright yellow as a warning to all (I’ve seen younger USF students trip on these, but they are a little more adept at maintaining their balance than some of us might be), but obviously no action has been taken. So it’s up to all of us to “watch our step” when we are traversing the parking areas around the University.  Be alert! “road rash “ is no fun . . .at any age.

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