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Is There Any Change in Traffic This Year?
Photo showcasing a sign designed to remind drivers that pedestrians have right of way. Source:

       As it turns out, there is a difference in traffic this year compared to last year. According to assistant principal Mr. Zabala, it is about the same or better this year.  

   However, the students tell a different story. Sophomore Jefferson Molina said, “Traffic on West Flagler is always horrible. The lights take about 5 minutes to switch sides, not to mention the turning signal lasts for seconds at a time for more than 10 cars.”  

   Sophomore Orlin Garcia shares a similar sentiment. “The traffic is just terrible; I take around 10 minutes on West Flagler just to make a beeline to school. Even after turning, the street to the High is always jam packed,” he said. 

Students’ Solutions 

   The same sentiment runs rampant amongst most Stings, and many spoke up with their practical solutions. Sophomore Dawson Mayorga believes the school should increase the presence of police or add traffic guards near school crosswalks.  

    Another sophomore, Cesar Gaitan, adds, “I think the school should add traffic guards, especially on the two crosswalks in front of the school. Traffic lights do not consider how many kids need to get across, or what time it is. It is a sad reality that most traffic lights operate on a timer, or on how much traffic there is, in favor of the traffic.” 

     Sophomore Cesar Rodriguez adds, “I think there should be a little more leniency with the bell. If I get to class seconds after the bell rings, I do not think it should be blown out of the water with the menace of a referral.” 

Are These Claims Based on Fact? 

    As it turns out, there is some truth to what these students claim. Many may be shocked to learn that crosswalk buttons do not do much. There is no master control box that shortens the wait time, as the traffic lights operate on an automatic computer-based system. The crosswalk button is supposed to hold a light after it has already changed, not speed up a change. So, what does this mean? The lights are programmed to give more time to main roads instead of minor roads, to keep traffic flowing; however, this also prevents people from crossing said main road until a computer decides to allow for a light change.  

Administrators have the final word 

    When all is said and done, there is only so much that can be done to combat the traffic and the dangers it poses to students. “At the end of the day you must look out for yourself. We can educate people on being safe, but there will always be those who break the law,” said Mr. Valdes, the school principal.  

   “Students must pay attention when attempting to cross the street,” added assistant principal Mr. Zabala. “The school is not responsible for what happens outside of school property. There is also only one officer here to help with traffic, so we cannot have one stationed at every street.”  

   As cold as it may sound, the harsh reality is indeed so. When push comes to shove, students must lookout for themselves and each other. 


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