Packed hallways need creative solution

Charlie Lant '22

Have you ever had to take the long walk from the 9/10 side to the 11/12 or vise versa to be greeted by a herd of students running into each other at the end of E Hall? You only have a mere minute or two to get to your class and are stopped in your tracks. Most students have had a run-in with this infamous spot that is often packed with kids walking in all different directions. It is a small, claustrophobic intersection where E Hall, downstairs G Hall, and the staircase of F Hall meet.

This traffic jam at the juncture between the 11/12 side and downstairs G Hall is an inconvenience for many students every day. Often, one door is closed at the doorway leading to the stairwell, which forces students to slowly funnel through the open half. There is a constant flow of students that travel to and from various directions: a group coming from downstairs G Hall, a flurry of students from upstairs G Hall and F Hall, and packs of upperclassmen from the entirety of the 11/12 side collide in a chaotic effort to get to their classes.

It is difficult to think of a way to fix this problem, but there may be an obvious solution. Imagine you are walking towards the 11/12 side, preparing yourself for the chaos, when you are met by a traffic light hanging above the small intersection. A red light glows in front of you as students move across the newly clear intersection to their classes. You notice a green arrow giving students the right of way to make a sharp left turn. Suddenly, the light is green and it’s your turn to continue on your journey to your next class. You shuffle through the lane untouched as packs of students on either side wait eagerly for their red light to turn green. The whole endeavor lasts a matter of seconds and is considerably easier than shoving through a pile of kids to get to your next class.

As crazy as it may seem, traffic lights may be the solution to our daily problem. Mr. Strout always says the hallways are highways, after all. Maybe we should start treating them as such. We can stay on the right side of the hall, stop crossing into oncoming traffic, and maybe even signal the direction we intend to turn. Of course, the idea of having traffic lights dangling from the ceilings of the most troublesome hallway intersections seems silly, but it might actually work.

If this idea is a little too out there or unreasonable, there are other ways to make it easier to travel through the halls. For instance, what if we try to stick to the right side of the hallway? No matter where you are going at the intersection, you should stay right and take your time crossing. As detrimental as it would be to rush through the halls, we shouldn’t be holding up traffic either so keep moving. We could also alleviate the chaos by using the other side of F Hall. Some students may not realize, but there is a less traveled stairwell on the other side of F Hall. It may be a good idea for students on their way to F Hall to use that stairwell instead.

The answer may not be traffic lights, but there are ways we can solve the puzzle that is the 11/12 intersection. Make sure to be courteous and aware of yourself and others as you walk through the halls. It will help us all to get our classes on time and alleviate some of the frustration we feel on a daily basis.