Morning traffic wreaks havoc with commute

Elliot Choi ’18

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a student, parent, or faculty member who was stuck in traffic this morning coming to school. Cars didn’t move, there was lots of beeping, and some drivers broke laws. You thought, “It shouldn’t be this annoying to come to school.”

In response to the problems created by traffic, James Busby, head of school, sent an email September 22 to parents reminding them to observe traffic laws and to allow extra time for arriving at school.

“For those of you [parents and guardians] who approach Buckley by driving up Stansbury, it is illegal and unsafe to drive around the line up of cars waiting to turn right,” Busby said in the email.

Busby said the school will be monitoring the Stansbury Avenue and Valley Vista Boulevard intersection and will impose penalties of up to $1500 if school drivers are observed to break laws. LAPD will also be stepping up patrols in the area according to Busby.

Administrators have said that the school has asked the city to consider adding a left turn lane on Valley Vista at Stansbury Avenue so that the flow of westbound traffic would move more smoothly.

The school continues to require that families and student drivers carpool or take the bus and offers incentives to faculty to carpool.

“It [carpooling] would reduce the number of cars, and it would mitigate the traffic on our side,” Ellie Trotta, transportation coordinator, said.

The traffic results from drivers cutting through residential neighborhoods to avoid jammed freeways. In Sherman Oaks, drivers who are rushing to work every day are using Valley Vista to get to Beverly Glen and avoid the 405 freeway.

“That’s the problem,” senior Josh Miller said. “Our school is right next to Valley Vista, so consequently, there’s a lot of people going over the hill.”

The growing popularity of real-time maps such as Google Maps and Waze has allowed drivers to find shortcuts and alternate routes without getting lost.

Throughout Los Angeles residents of suburban neighborhoods have complained that more and more commuters are cutting through smaller side streets to avoid traffic on the major arteries, as reported by major news outlets. Police too have said that the popularity of these apps allows some drivers to bypass drunk driving checkpoints and “speed traps,” and those pose a danger to the public.

“Enforcing the rules may be a little harsh,” Trotta said,” but it’s for everybody’s benefit.”

Busby emphasized that safety is more important than arriving a few minutes late to campus.