By Kristy Koehler, October 5 2018 —
In an effort to improve mental wellbeing on the University of Calgary campus, the school is now incentivizing good driving in the Arts Parkade.
Drivers who at least try to exercise caution, actually look for pedestrians while going around corners, stop at stop signs, park within the lines and refrain from speeding will be awarded points, which can be exchanged for beef jerky at Stör in MacHall. Those who accumulate several hundred points and avoid the temptation of tasty dehydrated meat treats can trade up for what essentially amounts to get-out-of-jail-free cards, exchangeable for an extension on an essay or that extra half per cent needed to get you an ‘A’.
Gauntlet reporters set up shop in the parkade to find out what students thought. They approached Chad Bronc, an erratic driver of a yellow Jeep, who was still texting as he exited his vehicle.
Bronc, a finance major, said he was “shocked” to learn that rules of the road also apply in the parkade.
“It’s a PARKade dude, not a DRIVEade,” he said, pushing his Oakley gascan sunglasses up over his frosted tips.
Sarah Sadler, whose middle finger is in a cast due to hyperextension after a particularly harrowing day in the parkade last week, says she’s ecstatic with the new points system.
“Guys like Chad will definitely be motivated by the jerky,” she said. “The parkade just got a whole lot safer.”
Some drivers, like Tommy Bates, disagree. Bates admits he drives like an asshole all the time and doesn’t think the new incentive-based system will change anything for him.
“My dad’s Beemer demands to be driven the right way!” he said.
Initially, the university intended to turn the Arts Parkade into a thrill ride. President Elizabeth Cannon said the proposal tested well in focus groups, but lost revenue was a concern.
“A sponsor had been secured to make up the parking fees that would have been lost in the conversion,” said Cannon. “Unfortunately, Red Bull pulled their funding at the last minute, instead choosing to finance the ‘find your way out of Craigie Hall’ escape room.”
Though Cannon was disappointed, she said that the focus group’s second choice, the incentivized safety system, would have to do.
This article is part of our humour section.