Time to Move On: Traffic in hallways at this school necessitates change.

Jessica Konrad

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The air is thick and stuffy. We are paused, waiting, again. Sighs of frustration and complaints echo in the background. I wonder when we will finally start moving. After what feels like an eternity, we all begin to creep forward, moving at a speed that makes molasses’ pace seem enviable.  Sounds like I’m in stuck in a traffic jam right? I am. Except my traffic jam isn’t bumper-to-bumper; it’s backpack-to-backpack.

It’s evident from spending a few minutes in the hallways of CHS during a passing period that the number of students in the hallways is problematic. Getting from one side of the Commons to the other without bumping into anyone is a virtually impossible task. And if you want to get from the B rooms to the A rooms after lunch, good luck; bottlenecks in the hallways make standstill or snail-speed traffic commonplace there.

Furthermore, walking through the hallways at CHS can sometimes feel more like racing through an obstacle course than going to class. To the right, better dodge the large crowd of people huddling together and crowding the hallway. Watch out on the left! There’s two late students sprinting down the halls. And don’t forget, there’s one random person walking on the wrong side disrupting the entire flow of traffic you’ll have to avoid. With a small number of students, these problems are minor nuisances, but with as many students as CHS has, these issues are glaring. So glaring in fact, that some of the freshmen I mentor for GKOM said they avoid walking down the senior hallway because they are scared of being run over. While I reassure them they won’t be trampled, I can’t promise they won’t be jostled around a little. And that’s disappointing. Considering the standard of excellence CHS holds itself to, it’s time CHS starts to demand this same level of excellence in the hallways.

One way to begin improving conditions during passing periods is for students to treat one another with common decency. No more casually pushing other students out of the way in the halls. No more bumping into people without apologizing. And no more crowding hallways so other students can’t get through. By simply treating one another with respect, the conditions in the hallways would improve drastically.

And while showing courtesy to other students is a great first step, it’s not enough to fix all of the problems. Administration needs to decrease the number of students in the hallway at the same time. This could happen in various ways. For example, staggering certain classes’ release times by a minute would greatly alleviate the stress on the hallways. Or perhaps, administration could require classrooms in certain areas to use specific staircases or hallways during passing periods, making sure there aren’t too many people in each passageway. In some schools, administration has installed traffic lights at major intersections in the halls; this could also be an idea for CHS to consider in its busiest areas. Additionally, a more costly, but perhaps more effective, remedy would be to remodel areas of the school where bottlenecks occur, eliminating traffic. Regardless of the method chosen to implement change, improvements in the hallways during passing periods will benefit students by helping them get to class on time, making it easier to walk down the hall and increasing the overall safety of CHS.