Photo by Andrew Ballard: New overpass reforms aim to alleviate gridlock in the overpass such as that pictured above on a recent school day.
By Siri Nadler and Ali Steinberg
For many years, traffic in the overpass has led to gridlock and frustration. Students are frequently late to class and grades often suffer. As students swerve to make their way to class more efficiently, traffic patterns continue to remain unruly.
As Emily Engel ’17 states, “Shoes are stepped on, water bottles are lost and egos are damaged.” The bottleneck shape of the overpass can lead to several minutes of back-up.
“Even after all these years of overpass travel, I still can never get to all my classes on time,” says Lauren Chapey ’16.
Due to the outrage from students and teachers alike, the MHS administration has decided to implement a new policy to regulate traffic patterns in the overpass.
First, traffic lights will be introduced in hopes of solving the bottleneck issue. One will be placed outside the Palmer gym, and one will be by Carol Scheffler’s office. The traffic flowing from Post and Palmer will move alternately to ensure the quickest possible passage. “Having students arrive on time for class is the best holiday present a teacher could ask for,” raves Ms. Ammerata.
Road tests will be given to freshmen in hopes of making the overpass a safer place to commute. Basic tasks, such as traveling etiquette, will be tested in a highly stressful setting. However, if a student fails an overpass test, he or she will be forced to trek from class to class on the outdoor track, a clear disadvantage to even a crowded overpass in the winter months. “I failed my road test the first time at New Rochelle,” complains an anonymous junior. “How will I ever pass here? I can never distinguish my left from my right.”
And for those reckless drivers who choose not to abide by the new regulations, Lauringle “Lolo” Mitchell will be monitoring traffic. Fines will range from the mild, such as tickets that can only be paid in Starbucks drinks for Lolo, to the extreme: 50 pushups and a 10-mile run for Chap.
“The District will also be recognizing a driver of the month,” says Deputy Sheriff Clain, “Students with noteworthy commuting skills will now be recognized for their talent. Prizes have not yet been formalized, but rumor has it that the winter winners will be recording the snow day message and will have a framed picture in my office!”
The administration has anticipated that these new reforms will cause students some confusion and apprehension. Along with the overpass driving manual (available just in time for some holiday break studying), they have released some helpful advice.
Tips for Driving Your Best:
- Make sure any items you are carrying are compressed to the minimum size.
- Keep your arms and legs inside your lane at all times.
- Do not text and walk. Research* has shown that texting while walking increases likelihood of coffee spillage, tripping, missed exits and other accidents.
- Do not yell—blare your vocal horn—for the traffic to move faster. Talking loudly only distracts other drivers.
- Above all, walk safely.
*Disclaimer: All research has been conducted by Globe staff. The Globe is in no way liable for injuries, accidents or general mishaps.