Portola Pilot

How Can We Fix Drop-off Issues?

Dylan Vanek, Co-News Editor

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As our school continues to grow, the amount of cars in the drop-off and pick-up line continues to increase with the student population. The traffic issue in the parking lot is continuing to escalate as more and more students are tardy to their first classes because of traffic congestion. The source of the problem is the time it takes students to exit their cars at drop-off and the intervals of the stop lights near the school.

“Even though I live in Pavilion Park, which is only three miles from school, I still have to leave 30 minutes before school starts,” junior Anthony Lu said. “There is so much traffic getting into the school that even if I leave 25 minutes before school I will still be tardy to my first class.”

The stop lights are an issue that cause traffic congestion near the entrances to the school. Stop lights are generally engineered to give the cars going straight the longest green light interval. Based on personal research, I found that cars driving straight on Irvine Boulevard receive an average of 32 seconds per green light whereas cars turning onto Irvine Boulevard receive an average of 14 seconds.

“We are working closely with the Irvine Police Department to try to change the stop lights to improve the traffic situation near our school,” assistant principal Jeff Hernandez said.

To further improve the traffic congestion, students must learn how to exit their cars quickly in the morning. The time it takes for a student to exit their car increases when the students do not have everything they need with them. When a student has to go and get their backpack from the trunk of the vehicle, it adds about 30 seconds to the time.

“I’ve had five kids go through IUSD, and I have come to the conclusion there will never be a solution that solves the problem entirely,” campus control assistant Kathy Elgohary said.

Although we will never be able to solve the traffic problem entirely, we can take steps to improve the situation overall. If we can decrease the time it takes for students to exit the car and change how the stop lights are set up, then we can make a significant improvement.

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How Can We Fix Drop-off Issues?