Dreading Thursdays

Students weigh in on the severe traffic issues.

Cars line up to escape the school after navigating through the traffic when school ends.

Jack Huot

Cars line up to escape the school after navigating through the traffic when school ends.

The usual quick drive from Sullivan Avenue to the entrance of South Windsor High School takes almost 4 times longer at 7:15 am on the average weekday morning. 

Cars make their way to the four-way stop of Graham and Ayers Road, inching forward to claim their spot in the conveyor belt-like line to the school. Across the way, lines emerge by 7:10, emerging from the three-way stop of Lake Street and Nevers Road and ending almost 1000 feet later where Ayers and Nevers Road intersect.

Leaving the school is another thing; once 2:00 hits, cars rapidly move to leave the school all at the same time in an attempt to be the first ones out of the school. 

After navigating through the traffic stream, students and parents face the final challenge of merging onto Ayers Road while everyone else waits for the first car out to make a move. Emily Osit, a senior at South Windsor High School, eager to put these traffic jams behind her, comments on the anxious experience. “When you have to take a left out of the school it’s terrible because there are pedestrians and you have to look to the left, right, Upper Duprey, and you have to deal with the pressure of going fast so you don’t cause traffic,” said Osit.

Seniors and Juniors hit the gas as the clock strikes 1:00 PM (Jack Huot)

This problem is amplified on Thursdays, where the schedule does not contain an eighth period, meaning the upperclassmen do not have a lockout. Almost all students were released at the 2 p.m. bell, drowning in the sea of steel and exhaust, trying to get out to the parking lot as quickly as possible. Senior Juliana Oliver touches on the difficulties she faces with Thursday traffic. 

To top it all off, almost all of the cars entering and exiting the school are driven by students which means they are new drivers. Not saying that new drivers are terrible drivers, but the chances of car situations happening, in general, are already high. Mix the existing potential car accidents with student drivers and a recipe for disaster unravels. 

It was awful, and I left like 20 minutes early every day so I could not be stuck in traffic”

— senior Juliana Oliver

Jordyn Boland, a Junior who just got her driver’s license a few months ago, was in this situation. “I think if the school was split into two parts for dismissal it would help. One part of the school would be released and have time to go to their cars and leave for 5-10 minutes and then the other half would be released to help prevent traffic buildup.” She adds that they should do this at least on days like Thursday because that’s when traffic really builds up and takes a while to get out. 

Some students have come up with their own solutions and ways that the school can combat this; senior, Xavier Crane, explains his thoughts. “If people walk to the parking lot to Upper Duprey they could be held by a traffic guard. Instead of one person going and making all the cars stop and then two seconds later one other person crosses [instead] they could all hold up and cross at the same time it would be a lot quicker.”

It is clear that something should be and can be done for the traffic at South Windsor High School. Only time will tell whether or not the line continues to grow, or shrink in size.