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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Median madness

Photo by Samuel Falade

Opinion writer Maddie McMurrough says the medians in College Station are getting out of hand.

Aggies of all ages condemn the University of Texas as our ultimate foe, however the real enemies of College Station residents are in our own roads: medians. Not only do I fight off the bad drivers of College Station, but also the medians hell-bent on my driving destruction.
I’m no stranger to missing a turn but lucky for me, my Jeep takes curb hopping like a champ. However, my driving downfall could be prevented if I wasn’t constantly having to U-turn around narrow medians. I’m not a bad driver, but these road dividers sure are making me look like a liar.
After the year-long Holleman Drive closure, the last thing this city needs is more construction. As the Rolling Stones so aptly put it: “you can’t always get what you want.” And what I absolutely don’t want is more medians!
As I was driving to my favorite place, the Cinemark on Highway 6, with my sister to see “Evil Dead Rise,” I was confronted with my worst nightmare (no, it wasn’t a Deadite). A four-word horror story: “Road Closed for Construction.” I realized that a new median was in development, and that was scarier than any horror movie I’ve seen.
Why does a small town like College Station need this many medians? It’s not like we’re a huge city like Austin or Houston.
The Texas Department of Transportation states that raised medians can help with turning conflicts and traffic flow. As far as I can tell these medians only create more conflicts — not only for drivers but also for businesses along these median-divided roads.
How many times have you decided to go to a restaurant on your side of the road because you don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding a way around these raised medians? Or missed your turn; adding an outrageous amount of time to your journey and just went home out of sheer defeat? Many businesses along the roads most recently blessed with a new median are upset at the disturbance they’ve caused their business.
With residents furiously typing up a storm on Twitter and Facebook, it’s hard for the city to deny the majority of people are anti-medians. Why is our city smothering the capitalist flame of our local businesses? These medians are trying to run people out of business. When did College Station become so anti-capitalist?
Not only are the medians disrupting businesses but also jeopardizing safety, in a way you may not expect.
“My main concern is going to be if we have a fire or any emergency.” College Station resident Laura Sanders told KBTX. “Any emergency vehicles probably couldn’t make the turn, It’s just not safe and the possibility of a fire, um, we wouldn’t be able to get a vehicle in here to put it out”
I’m shocked and horrified that our city would isolate some of their citizens like that. College Station is better than that and the real cost of these medians could be our lives.
So if the businesses and residents of College Station are suffering at the hands of these medians, why keep adding them? Our town is overly saturated with medians, but the city refuses to stop. Imagine what we could accomplish for the betterment of our community if the money spent on medians was concentrated elsewhere?
With the population clocking in at about 242,014 residents, it makes sense that we would have traffic flow problems. We have four main roads and almost 75,000 students driving on them daily, so I appreciate the planners for trying to figure out a solution. But, at the end of the day, does constant construction and divided roads really solve the issue? It’s like putting a band-aid on a bullet hole. It does nothing but give the illusion of fixing the problem
Any student who’s waited almost an hour to U-turn on University Drive could beg to differ.
College Station is already infamous for its driving, with deadly wrecks and fender-benders happening on the weekly. I can’t imagine how tight U-turns and confining road medians help keep citizens safe.
Most of my near-death experiences were at the hands of poor road layout. We put our lives on the line every day when we buckle into our cars and we would expect these roads to be designed with our safety in mind. But, with these constant median additions, when is enough going to be enough?
The city planners aren’t going to stop until every road is divided, and that means every driver must be twice as vigilant. So if we can’t stop the medians from taking over, we must learn how to drive like Vin Diesel in “Fast and Furious” and look out for other drivers like they’re our family.
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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