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School Traffic: What You Need to Know

School+Traffic%3A+What+You+Need+to+Know

At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Gainesville High School students were introduced to the new traffic route pattern for parent drop-off. 

 Before, parents driving their students to school would drop them off in front of the school. Now, the student drivers and kiss-and-ride students head in the same direction. The kiss and ride drop-off area is  now in front of the outdoor amphitheater, causing an increase in cars headed in the same direction and increased traffic. Many student drivers, as well as parent drivers, have complaints.  

“The traffic makes me have to wake up and leave for school earlier, so I feel like I’m not getting as much sleep.” Senior, Amanda Rall said. 

Because the new drop-off area is right by the student parking lot, many student drivers are unhappy with the new traffic patterns, 

The students getting dropped off by parents have also been affected by these new route changes, 

“I feel like because the new drop-off line is by the grey commons, after I get out of the line, I have to rush to my classes to not be tardy.” Junior, Ariohnna Bowen said.  

While this new traffic route has caused complaints from both parents and students, There are many logical reasons behind this change in traffic patterns. The new metal detectors, which will be put into official use on September 19th, are one of these reasons. Door 3, which kiss and ride students used last school year, would not be able to have a metal detector at its entrance. By putting the detectors by the grey commons, it gives both student drivers and drop-off students an entrance with the metal detectors. 

Also, last year, our school administration had a meeting with PWCS’ security oversight group, who recommended the new route to try and get traffic off of nearby roads and onto school property. In a couple years, when University Boulevard becomes a four-lane road that extends and goes past the school, the new car line will be important in keeping those cars off exterior roadways. 

Mr. Wall, our school’s safety and security officer, believes the root of the issue is not the new traffic route, but the location of where the car line starts.

 “The intersection at Wentworth Green is not designed to hold as much traffic as it is right now. Once you get through the intersection at Wentworth, traffic starts to run smoothly, but getting past that intersection is where the problem is.” Wall said. 

Mr. Wall also talks about how the increase of students has affected this issue.

 “What I think is causing the traffic is that we have more cars coming in than last year and the intersection at Wentworth really needs to be worked on. We also just have a lot of traffic to manage on a one lane road.” Wall said.  

There has been a lot of  work done to look at the traffic patterns and find possible solutions. Officers from risk management visited the intersection at Wentworth Green and are looking at possible temporary solutions to the traffic buildup. There is also a camera installed now by that intersection to watch and monitor the traffic patterns. 

“Traffic has definitely gotten better since the first week.” Wall said. 

Though the traffic can still be rough, there are precautions you can take. 

“Leaving a little earlier for school will also help. Parents dropping off their kids should try to model good driving behavior for the student drivers. It’s important to have patience, both for the parents and the new student drivers.” Wall said. 

By practicing some of these recommendations, the traffic issue may be reduced. 

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Isabella Jenkins, Journalist
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