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OP-ED: Why We Should Close Walnut to Cars and Turn It Into the World's Largest Urban Iguana Sanctuary


Photoillustration by Jackie Lou / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Cars harm the environment and clog up our cities, and it’s high time we do something about that. I believe that the University of Pennsylvania should send a message to the whole world and close down Walnut Street to cars. Beyond that, and more importantly, we need to turn the closed-off portion of Walnut into the world’s largest urban iguana sanctuary.  

The iguana is a fun, pretty animal, and I think it would be beneficial to both Penn and the greater West Philadelphia community to put a collection of 4,000-5,000 iguanas on Walnut. Serene reptilians will replace the violent, traffic light-ignoring drivers.

We would need a large bubble-like structure to encapsulate all the iguanas and an intricate heating apparatus to keep them warm, but these are all steps we are willing to take, with the number one priority of the University being to protect the iguanas.  

I also think it best to close the sanctuary off to graduate students, and all students registered at CAPS. Iguanas are highly sensitive and empathetic creatures, and graduate students and people who go to CAPS are usually kinda sad. Even the slightest change in positivity around them could plunge the iguanas' precious, cold-blooded minds deep into a spiral of anxiety.  

So, while there are a couple of setbacks we could face in making our dream a reality, I think Walnut Street would benefit from a lack of cars and a surplus of iguanas.