Editorials and Opinions

Expostulation for the back roadway

By Kyle Remy
Published: April 2009

The clock on the car dashboard reads 7:38. I glance anxiously at my dad and my brother in the back seat. Our car edges along, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Brandeis Road. Usually, the road is fairly decongested at this point in the morning, but today it has taken us eight minutes to move about a hundred yards. Cars in front of us put on their blinkers to turn onto the road behind the school, but a woman stands in front of a wooden road barrier, blocking the way.

Although this back road was designed for “authorized vehicles only, it has since become a crucial roadway for student drop-offs. The layout of the school building allots minimal space at the front entrances for car access, which causes issues with traffic, especially in the mornings when students need to be dropped off.
In consequence, the roadway to the entrances at the back of the school has become an alternative route for students in the mornings. However, with the recent physical barricade in front of the back roadway, the traffic flow issue has become even more prominent.

What is more, many of South’s entrances are locked from the outside throughout the day, including in the mornings’€even some of the front entrances cannot be opened from the outside. Students and parents must use the back roadway to get to the unlocked doors at the back of the school building.
Without this route, cars dropping students off for school have to line up at the front of the building, backing up traffic along Brandeis Road.

Furthermore, the barricade of the roadway is not set up on a daily basis, but seems to appear arbitrarily. Thus traffic is light on some days and bumper-to-bumper on others, and it is near impossible to predict a good departure time in the morning. However, after school, the back road is open for use, serving as a key drop-off and pick-up area for athletes and other participants in after-school activities.

Because of the inconsistent availability of the road, students and parents assume that the road is free to be traversed at all times. Some students do not even realize that the back route is an emergency roadway.
Junior Claire Barnewolt, who takes the bus, has noticed an increase in traffic on certain days, but was not aware of the cause. Barnewolt admits that she was not even aware that the back road, which she passes every day, is reserved from public use. The school cannot expect to successfully prohibit use of the roadway with such a lack of information within the school community.

The road blockage restricts student access to some of the few unlocked entrances into the school, forcing students to rely solely on the front doors. As a result, cars have no choice but to back up along Brandeis Road in an unpredictable, tedious, and potentially dangerous traffic snarl.

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