Students wait in the carpool line as traffic builds up. Photo: Marley Venturi

Pace students and faculty have been burdened with heavy traffic and numerous tardies at the start of this school year. With the construction of the new Kam Memar Lower School, the carpool system has changed. Now all students must use the same carpool line, causing time-consuming backups and frustrated emotions. 

In previous years, students have faced long lines, but nothing in comparison to now. The traffic starts far before West Paces Ferry as the line of cars backs up all the way onto Northside Drive. What was once a ten-minute commute for some students has now become 30 and the number of tardies has rapidly increased.

On West Paces, students have to sit in a seemingly endless line of cars and wait, only to move forward once every five minutes. This heavy traffic unfortunately has caused an influx in tardies, leading to detentions when given more than five. Junior Jack Janko said, “I never used to get tardies, but with the traffic, I have gotten them more frequently.” 

The traffic does not stop after getting into Pace. The line is held up by the addition of lower school drop-off. The lower school parents have to stop, let their students out and then rejoin the mainline. Junior Brooke McCullough says, “The traffic in the morning has become agonizing. It is honestly not worth it at this point.” Usually having their own system of carpool, this addition has only negatively added to the flow of traffic. 

On top of this, parents cause a blockage within the parking lot. Many parents attempt to beat the line and go through the second row, the student parking row. This prohibits students from parking in their assigned spots, which further contributes to the slow movement of carpool. Parents also stop abruptly in the main carpool line, affecting those students who park in the front rows as they have no choice but to use this line. 

Although recently morning traffic has begun to improve, stress levels among students still rise. Even underclassmen who do not drive feel the stresses brought on by the traffic. Sophomore Dhru Lalaji says, “It is very stressful when I leave my house early and barely make it to school on time due to the traffic and I am not even the one driving.” Having this added stress in the morning makes for a stressful rest of the day, something that students do not need. 

Hopefully, the traffic issue will resolve and students can get back into a more normal routine. With the finished construction of the lower school and the addition of more police, improvement looks promising!

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