Editorial | Summer slumber is over

Editorial | Summer slumber is over

By the end of the weekend, there will be about 40,000 more people in Champaign-Urbana than were here a few weeks ago.

To the returnees, we say welcome back. To those who have been here all along, we say please be alert.

After a relatively quiet summer — except for an abundance of construction projects — things are getting back to normal in Champaign-Urbana and around the University of Illinois, which means something close to chaos.

This place is almost the opposite of a beach town that fills up for the three summer months and then returns to slumber from September through May. Here, there are about three months where the streets, theaters, restaurants and stores are uncrowded, occasionally empty, and then jammed the rest of the year. That's the way we like it; otherwise, we wouldn't be here.

But that three-month interlude can be misleading, and when it suddenly ends, it can be jarring. You can no longer easily drive into Campustown or cross town in 20 minutes. Bicyclists and pedestrians have to be aware of much more traffic. Motorists have to be aware of more pedestrians, more bicyclists and MTD buses making more passenger stops. Shopping in stores will require more time.

Our drowsy summer is over, and the spirited season has begun. Enjoy it, but be alert and be safe.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion