By: Charlie Mascia and Sean Allen
The lethargic lope of a unit of unfocused walkers is enough to infuriate even the most patient of commuters. The perennial issues of congestion, speed, and obstruction ought to be at the forefront of any student’s thoughts during the irksome moments between classes. A few solutions could ease the plague of walking problems.
Beginning with congestion, any student looking to move from an upstairs Quad C classroom down to the realm of lower Quad B must leap into the shapeless mass which forms at the Quad C-B intersection. The difficulty of the traverse is most pronounced right at the start of a class change. The erratic nature of the mob creates an atmosphere of confusion, claustrophobia, and discomfort. The lack of mobility and efficiency is insufferable. We must instate traffic directors at major intersections to allow one group of walkers to move at a time, and prevent collisions or violent interactions between two hubris-inflated travelers. This would allow the intersection to operate without a dangerous basket weave-like merging strategy to be needed.
The speed of walkers is veritably the most painful. A walker who is moving quickly with a desire to arrive on-time, is contrasted with the painfully slow movements of an individual who crawls, swinging their legs and planting their feet at a pace so unbearable so as to draw verbal complaint (or even physical, in the form of a misplaced elbow) from those imprisoned behind them. The speed of one’s commute is directly correlated with the focus placed on the action, those students who use class changes to multitask, namely on their phones, find themselves walking slower and less controlled when compared to their more aware peers. Slow and fast movers need to have their own lanes, a four lane system must be initiated. Those moving quickly, in both directions, will walk on the inside, and those clumping together and Tweeting can hug the lockers. The clash of these two groups will remain a point of class contention if there is not action.
Finally, the issue of obstruction, which appears to be a most universal frustration, is literally an impediment on the campaign from class to class. The groups of students, many of which are completely unaware of their surroundings and the effects of their positioning, stand in thoroughfares intended for speedy walking, not idle chit chat. Most prominently, underclassmen students crowd the hallways, some even sitting or spreading their belongings all over the floor, while making colossal messes during the midday meal. The cafeteria provides plenty of eating space, as do the fields outside the building and the classrooms within. Our hallways are not roads, here the walkers and fast movers have right of way. There is no clear strategy to reduce this issue besides the use of punishment and rules prohibiting such behavior, individuals must learn the true consequences of their actions.
The culture at East has deemed this unendurable daily commute the norm. Hall Monitors and the elimination of crowding, in addition to the lane system, would rid East students of all the agony of their travels around the school. Ultimately, a renovation project to increase the width of the hallways by 54 centimeters, would render these issues null. This effort would be a blanket solution for the safety issues which come along with rampant cases of hallway rage and collision. East must take action, as a healthy community of walkers and as a place with a responsibility to ensure the safety of students.