Construction of the I-190 interchange and the new parking lot configurations have slowed traffic in Central’s parking lot significantly.
As student drivers are well aware, the parking lot is rife with new frustrations this year; with the construction on I-90 closing off the underpass, drivers are struggling to adjust to the bottlenecking at the remaining exits, and the West lot has been closed off from the main lot, leaving our drivers feeling constricted as they enter and exit through the other entrances. Together, these changes in and around our parking lot have slowed traffic at the end of the school day by 10 to 15 minutes.
The construction on the underpass was much overdue; the current bridge was built over 50 years ago. Luckily for us, the underpass is only closed temporarily–the I-90 construction is set to be completed on October 27, 2017, and the underpass will be reopened once it is completed, which will ease some of the strain on the four-way intersection of 8th and North streets.
Less luckily for some of us, the West lot is permanently closed off from the main lot. The North entrance, right next to where the West lot used to be connected with the main lot, has been widened and curved to compensate for the increased flow of traffic it has to bear, but the North and East entrances are still more strained than they have been in the past, and drivers are struggling to adjust.
Central administration posted cameras on the roof of the building on the first day of school to observe how drivers would adjust to these drastic changes, and found that it now takes a full 10 to 15 minutes longer to clear the parking lot at the end of the day compared to years before the construction. With these new struggles in mind, the school set to work creating mechanisms to compensate for the bottlenecking and general confusion at the end of the day. In addition to the North lot being widened and curved, the liaison officers are working with the police to help direct traffic after school to get drivers adjusted to the new flow of things. The best thing we can do to help the after school traffic is to be more tolerant of other drivers. “Getting in and out of the parking lots after school may take a few extra minutes,” says Mr. Tally. “We need all drivers to be patient, follow speed limits, and most importantly, ensure that proper safety habits are being practices in the parking lots. Safety of our students is our priority.”
Sage Preble is the Editor-in-Chief of the Pine Needle.