Horns up, Horns down: Summer 2017

Horns Down: Road work

Traffic in Austin is already pretty bad during the semester. With everyone and their cars back in Austin, driving around West Campus often feels like a proper road trip. You would think that at least during the summer, you would find yourself stuck behind a CapMetro bus on Guad less often. Nope. This July, the city has decided to repair Guadalupe street, meaning that Austin is keeping their number one spot for the worst traffic in the nation year round. So if you thought driving down Guad was miserable enough with two lanes, just wait until you experience the drag when it’s down to just one.

Horns Up: Speedway construction

Everyone’s favorite on-campus construction project is still going strong. Speedway’s transformation from a wannabe road overrun with students to a proper pedestrian mall is finally starting shape up. Yes, access to buildings is still hampered and an attempt to ride your bike over the speedbumps might result in two flat tires, but the appearance of plants and actual flat brick surfaces will be a welcome sight for Longhorns returning this fall.

Horns Down: Mumps

To the surprise of no one and the dismay of the CDC, 2017 recently became the third consecutive year in which UT suffered from a mumps outbreak. As of last Saturday, there were at least seven confirmed cases of mumps on campus. The virus is contagious and transmitted either directly or through the air. The positively delightful symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle ache, loss of appetite, tiredness, swollen and tender salivary glands — and in some rare cases — even sterility. Seriously, please don’t cough on us.   

Horns Up: No roommates

We have reached the sweet spot of the summer semester, the last few weeks of your old lease. Your roommate might have been out of town for an internship, visiting family, or backpacking through Europe, but the reason for their absence is inconsequential as you sprawl on the couch and eat their leftovers. The washing machine will soon become a battleground and your Netflix queue will become polluted with Family Guy once again, but for now just sit back and enjoy the silence.

Horns Down: Abbott's war on trees

Austin trees, your time has come. Round two of the 85th legislative session has put local regulations on the chopping block, as evidenced by Gov. Abbott’s singular vitriol toward the city’s regulation of trees on private property. The spat began a few years ago when our governor sought to remove a pecan tree from his front yard only to find that Austin regulation mandated he let the foliage be. But as governor, his landscaping problems make the legislative short list as he shutters other local rules such as those concerning texting and driving. The next few weeks at the legislature promise a packed agenda that in part aims to cut down cities— and their trees.