PDS Traffic …


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Emma Ozdogan, Online Arts Editor

Seeing as it was the first day of “regular” in-person school in two years, our decision to take route 206 and the Great Road wasn’t unfounded; the smaller roads we normally take could be closed, the back gate for PDS could be locked like last year, the list goes on. Unexpectedly and surprisingly (really expectedly and unsurprisingly, I was in denial), we hit a wall of traffic right at the start of the Great Road. Glancing at the clock to find it was 7:52 AM, I wracked my brain for a solid four seconds to estimate that it was feasible (it was not) to arrive at school before 8:05 am (I did not). Naively, I assumed this would set us back, what, maybe 20 minutes? Of course, instead of taking the usual 20 minutes to drive the mile, it took nearly 40, because what first day of school goes to plan? Stepping in the building at 8:28 AM, I signed in and rushed to Gathering, profusely apologizing to my advisor for what would soon become a regular occurrence.

Now, you might be wondering, how is being late a regular occurrence if you don’t usually take the Great Road? Well, the not-so-great road is just a part of the problem. A little over a week later, we drove through the back gate of the school at 7:48 AM. At this point, I thought I was safe, celebrating that I was on time to school for once, even early at that. Of course, I should’ve listened to the many “never celebrate too early” memes and just kept my mouth shut because, once again, we hit a never-ending line of cars. In the past, we’ve seen some pretty bad traffic on campus, but nothing was comparable to what we saw that morning. Instead of driving up to the loop and main entrance in about four to five minutes, as we had in previous years, I didn’t get to the front doors until 8:02 AM, after fourteen painstakingly long minutes. That day, I learned my lesson to stop being lazy and just walk from the lower gym entrance and to my advisor in the library, as I quite literally would reach that point faster on foot than in a car. 

The worst part about this whole situation was that it wasn’t the last time it happened; I’ve hit this on-campus traffic every morning of this year, no matter how early or late I leave the house. If you think I’m exaggerating or trying to give excuses for why I’m late (believe me, my advisor’s heard enough of those), take a listen to some other PDS students. Senior Jonah Soos, who drives to school every morning, believes that both the on-campus and Princeton traffic “rival that of NYC.” In addition to Soos, senior Sophia Maggio, who lives down the street from PDS, believes the traffic to be so severe that she deliberately walks to and from school to avoid it, taking the trek up and down the mountain of the Great Road.

In addition to the traffic itself, the skills of PDS drivers only contribute to the daily morning chaos. As Senior Milind Singh so eloquently puts it, “It’s like all the parent and student drivers put on blindfolds as soon as they get on Great Road. It sucks.” Singh is definitely not the only one who shares this sentiment; Soos claims that PDS drivers are “incompetent,” and my mother angrily curses out others on the road in Polish at least once a morning.

As you can see, no one is free from PDS traffic. Although I only described the morning rush, the same fiasco applies to the afternoon scramble to get off-campus. Considering that both situations are equally jam-packed and disorderly, there’s no need to elaborate any further. Anyways, to make a long story short, I hope these messes of mornings and afternoons somehow fix themselves within the next few months; I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen when PDS drivers are reintroduced to the wonders of snow and ice.