Opinion: Morning Traffic and the Multitude of Ways the School can Fix It

Opinion: Morning Traffic and the Multitude of Ways the School can Fix It

Kyle Berson

The High School’s morning and afternoon traffic congestion has caused a constant annoyance to students and staff since September, and has seen no significant change or signs of improvement since the start of school. Many people see the traffic as simply another uncontrollable part of their morning, but multiple ways exist to relieve this traffic that the school should decide to invest into.

The uncontrolled traffic outside of our school forces tardiness on students, even if they wake up and leave at a reasonable time. The traffic forces 1st period classes to start after 7:25 to wait for students, cutting valuable class time. Lastly, it forces students to get up earlier in order to get to class on time, losing much needed sleep.

A town investment into school traffic management provides benefits to the health and wellbeing of students and staff, bringing partial or full solutions to the problems listed previously.

“One of the best ways to ease traffic congestion is to reduce vehicular traffic. Encourage students, caregivers and staff to come to school by: Walking, Cycling, school buses, and carpooling,” an article from the New Zealand Department of Education stated. Reducing the amount of cars entering the school by encouraging students to carpool and take buses reduces the wait time getting to school, as well as opening up parking spaces in the school and Upper Duprey parking lots.

The town can utilize and invest into other forms of traffic management as well. Installing roundabouts at certain intersections removes stop signs, eliminates chances of head-on & t-bone collisions, and promotes a continuous flow of traffic, the Connecticut Department of Transportation revealed in the Connecticut Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Adding a roundabout at the intersection of Ayers Rd and the SWHS entrance promotes a continuous flow of traffic in and out of the school, reduces risks of collisions, and reduces overall traffic congestion near the school.

Many may argue that the school shouldn’t invest in traffic management, and students should wake up and arrive at school earlier to reduce traffic.

Although this could reduce student tardiness, “Countless studies have shown that early school start times are associated with students getting less sleep, which negatively affects student academic performance,” the Sleep Foundation stated in an article. If students lose an additional 20 minutes of sleep, it creates tiredness and agitation in students, which lowers academic performance, and may increase the chances of crashes in or around the school parking lot.

Adding another entrance and exit to the school solves multiple problems as well, upping the number to two entrances and three exits, rather than the one entrance and two exits used by more than 1,200 students and staff daily. Extending the road Sunset Terrace past the west side of Wapping School and connecting it to the student parking lot creates a more direct route to the parking lot, allowing multiple ways for students to enter. 

Clearly, multiple traffic management options exist for the school to invest in, which promotes a smoother, less congested, and safer traffic for everyone at SWHS.